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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

How to Be a Good Wife

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How to Be a Good Wife Cover

ISBN13: 9781250018199
ISBN10: 1250018196
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the tradition of Emma Donoghue's Room and S.J. Watsons Before I Go to Sleep, How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman is a haunting literary debut about a woman who begins having visions that make her question everything she knows

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 Hectors 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 cant 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 Martas visions persist and her reality grows more disjointed, its 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.

Review:

"In Chapman's chilling debut, it's immediately clear that Marta Bjornstad is uncomfortable in her empty nest, with her son Kylan living in the city and her husband Hector more distant than ever before. Cracks begin to appear in Marta's formerly comfortable life: she discovers cigarettes in her purse and enjoys smoking them, though she has never smoked before. She yearns to travel, although for the past 20 years her life has been circumscribed by the mountains on either side of the small valley in the unnamed Scandinavian country in which she and Hector live. She stops taking her medication and begins to question some of the things she'd previously taken for granted — for instance, Hector's insistence that she take her medicine (he even placed the pills on her tongue). She also begins to see a girl in dirty pajamas, who seems to need her help. And her outright hostility to Kylan's new fiancée only widens the cracks, alienating the person she loves the most. As she examines more closely what's beneath her family's habits and some of her own memories, she becomes certain that she has uncovered a terrible dark truth that — if she reveals it — will tear their lives apart. Despite a far-fetched conclusion, Chapman excels at creating tension and suspense." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE BY EMMA CHAPMAN IS A HAUNTING LITERARY DEBUT ABOUT A WOMAN WHO BEGINS HAVING VISIONS THAT MAKE HER QUESTION EVERYTHING SHE KNOWS

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 college. 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 Hectors 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 cant 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 Martas visions persist and her reality grows more disjointed, its 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.

About the Author

Emma 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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

McGuffy Ann Morris, October 6, 2014 (view all comments by McGuffy Ann Morris)
Many years ago, successful educator Hector Bjornstad found Marta in a very traumatized state after an accident killed both of her parents. He helped rehabilitate fragile Marta and gave her a home. Though there is a twenty year age difference, they then married and had a son. Now that their son is grown and moving on, Marta feels a sense of sadness and loss. She finds herself struggling to find her place in life and the world around her.

Very unhappy, Marta feels that things are just not quite right. To clear her head, Marta stops taking her longtime antianxiety medicine. Though Marta has taken this for many years, she strongly feels she does not need it. Not wanting to upset her husband and son, so she pretends to take it. This is the first of many secrets.

Suddenly, Marta begins to see things and hear voices that are not there. These sights and sounds seem to be centered around a young girl who seems to be in trouble. Marta feels the girl is trying to communicate with her. She becomes obsessed with this tragic girl and helping her. Marta feels she is missing something important.

As things progress, Marta becomes afraid. Nothing is as it seems. Time seems to shift without her knowledge. Sights and sounds are unreliable. Though a nonsmoker, cigarettes appear in her purse. She even finds herself smoking. She both questions and alienates those around her as her tries to keep her many secrets. However, she must figure things out.

The detailed writing of this book is almost lyrical. Emma Chapman sets a stage carefully. She uses precision in telling a suspenseful tale of a woman trying to find herself, again. I found this book unsettling, yet oddly satisfying in its delivery. I am hoping this author has more to offer.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
dreena, March 15, 2014 (view all comments by dreena)
Marta beckons us from the pages. pleading with us to believe she is not Marta, but Elise, a victim of a crime that no one believes to have happened. Should we believe her?
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code7r, August 11, 2013 (view all comments by code7r)
When I received this book in the mail, I was hoping it would be different than the last few books I reviewed. By different, I mean good. I started reading this book on Friday night and finished on Saturday morning! I couldn't put it down!

The story is about a woman who seems to a little unstable mentally. She has never been past a certain point in the town she lives in, she cannot remember her life before her marriage, and she has visions of her little girl. As I started to read, it seemed that the book was about a woman going mad, and then the author turns the story on its head!

This is the author's first novel and I hope it isn't the last. It was well written and well told. I definitely think that this book would appeal to a large audience.


**I received this book from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for a review. This did not affect my review in any way.**
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781250018199
Author:
Chapman, Emma J
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Author:
Chapman, Emma J.
Author:
Chapman, Emma
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Contemporary Women
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20131031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

How to Be a Good Wife Used Hardcover
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9781250018199 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Chapman's chilling debut, it's immediately clear that Marta Bjornstad is uncomfortable in her empty nest, with her son Kylan living in the city and her husband Hector more distant than ever before. Cracks begin to appear in Marta's formerly comfortable life: she discovers cigarettes in her purse and enjoys smoking them, though she has never smoked before. She yearns to travel, although for the past 20 years her life has been circumscribed by the mountains on either side of the small valley in the unnamed Scandinavian country in which she and Hector live. She stops taking her medication and begins to question some of the things she'd previously taken for granted — for instance, Hector's insistence that she take her medicine (he even placed the pills on her tongue). She also begins to see a girl in dirty pajamas, who seems to need her help. And her outright hostility to Kylan's new fiancée only widens the cracks, alienating the person she loves the most. As she examines more closely what's beneath her family's habits and some of her own memories, she becomes certain that she has uncovered a terrible dark truth that — if she reveals it — will tear their lives apart. Despite a far-fetched conclusion, Chapman excels at creating tension and suspense." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE BY EMMA CHAPMAN IS A HAUNTING LITERARY DEBUT ABOUT A WOMAN WHO BEGINS HAVING VISIONS THAT MAKE HER QUESTION EVERYTHING SHE KNOWS

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 college. 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 Hectors 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 cant 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 Martas visions persist and her reality grows more disjointed, its 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.

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