Title: How To Be a Good Wife
Author: Emma Chapman
Genre: Psychological thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Number of pages: 273
First line: Today, somehow, I am a smoker.
Goodreads blurb: Marta and Hector have been married for a long time. Through the good and bad; through raising a son and sending him off to life after university. So long, in fact, that Marta finds it difficult to remember her life before Hector. He has always taken care of her, and she has always done everything she can to be a good wife—as advised by a dog-eared manual given to her by Hector’s aloof mother on their wedding day.
But now, something is changing. Small things seem off. A flash of movement in the corner of her eye, elapsed moments that she can’t recall. Visions of a blonde girl in the darkness that only Marta can see. Perhaps she is starting to remember—or perhaps her mind is playing tricks on her. As Marta’s visions persist and her reality grows more disjointed, it’s unclear if the danger lies in the world around her, or in Marta herself. The girl is growing more real every day, and she wants something.
I liked this book a lot until the end, and then I wanted to throw it across the room.
Okay, I know I shouldn’t leave it at that, so I’ll try to expound. First of all, I love psychological thrillers; second of all, I love unreliable narrators. This book had both of those, so win-win, right? Not so fast. While the author did a really good job of creating a claustrophobic feeling (it sort of reminded me of the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”), she did something with the ending that totally pissed me off. I don’t want to give anything away, but it really got my injustice alarms going. Yes, it is her prerogative to end her book that way, but I didn’t like it.
She does write well, though, so I may be willing to give her second book a chance. Maybe. We’ll see.