Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman

Marta is a middle-aged housewife living outside a village in a Scandinavian country. She is quite isolated, having no friends or relatives or even memories of her own. She is totally reliant on her husband Hector and his mother for companionship and support. Hector’s mother had given Marta her book “How to be a Good Wife” for a wedding gift, a book that dispenses old-fashioned advice about wifely and home-making obligations and Marta obediently lives her life according to its rules. When her adult son finishes school and moves to the city, Marta surreptitiously stops taking the pills Hector has insisted she take her entire married life. He has told her she is not well but provides no real details and she no longer believes him.  Without the pills, she begins to hallucinate, seeing visions of people, particularly a young woman, lurking in the closet, the bathroom, the bedroom, the kitchen. Clearly these visions are a result of her refusal to take her drugs, but is she experiencing psychotic episodes or repressed memories? Marta becomes convinced that Hector is medicating her in order to manipulate her personality and her memories. But the reader cannot be sure if she is right. Hector may be cool and distant and secretive, but he also seems to genuinely care for Marta’s well-being. In How to be a Good Wife, Emma Chapman has written a psychological mystery that keeps the reader off balance right to the end of the book.

Check out How to be a Good Wife @ the library!