Friday, February 20, 2015

How to be a Good Wife by Emma J. Chapman

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 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.

My take: 4 looks
What a wonderful example of an unreliable narrator! Marta is the only voice we hear in this one, and her internal monologue is so intriguing and compelling that I read this one in almost one sitting. To be inside the mind of a mentally ill woman who is battling hallucinations, paranoia and other mental attacks is the basis for this story. It is written so deftly that I actually felt disoriented at times while reading.

The twist as the story moves forward is not something I was expecting; and the pace, progression, and finale left me almost breathless. I hope this author has many, many more titles that I can devour.

Highly recommended.

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