“In a drug induced haze, the best Marta can achieve is to follow the rule book of How to be a Good Wife. Her life is not actually lived and she feels out of sync with everything around her. Her husband controls her life, her rule book controls her actions, but when Marta begins to have sudden flashes of a young girl, she dares to NOT take her medications, hoping to feel more clarity. Through moments of lucidity, Marta seems almost normal, but in her drug induced haze, she is like an entity not quite in any world at all. Still, she questions who the girl is. Is she real or just a figment of her mind, as she is told. Who can she trust? What will she discover? Is Marta losing her mind or has the world forsaken her to a half-life existence?
Emma Chapman writes with stark sense of maturity, letting her words create a bleak atmosphere that feels almost shrouded from Marta. Her characters are equally vague, to underscore the main character’s lack of full consciousness and understanding. I was drawn through this story like a ghost visiting from another world, connected, yet safe from Marta’s world. This haunting tale will stay with you long after you close the book. Emma Chapman is, in a word - GIFTED - as an author who should be watched.
I received an ARC edition of How to be a Good Wife in exchange for my honest review from St. Martin's Press.
Publication Date: October 15, 2013 (First Published January 1, 2013)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Hardcover: 288 pages
Genre: Adult Fiction
Available from: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
About the Author: EMMA J. CHAPMAN was born in 1985 and grew up in Manchester, England. She studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. After university, she travelled solo in Scandinavia, where she learned to camp, bathe in fjords, and carry everything she needed. She is currently living in Perth, Western Australia. How to Be a Good Wife is her first novel.
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