Saturday, October 12, 2013

{Whatcha Reading?} How to be a Good Wife

The publisher compares How To Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman to Room by Emma Donoghue. It reminds me more of The Stepford Wives, a book that seriously creeped me out when I read it a few years back. It isn't a bump in the night what's lurking in that dark corner kind of creepy, it's a building sense that something is seriously wrong.

Marta feels as if she's been married to Hector forever. Her whole purpose is to be a good wife to him and she goes through her day mentally reciting advice from an advice book that she received as a wedding gift.

You know that lists of rules for housewives that has been floating around forever? I tend to agree with it (although looking it up while writing this, I found some modified versions. This is the one that I agree with.)

The rules that Marta is living by seem slightly more sinister...

Your husband belongs in the outside world. The house is your domain, and your responsibility.

Let your husband take care of the correspondence and finances of the household. Make it your job to be pretty and gay.

She spends her days cooking and cleaning and venturing out to the market each day at one o'clock. Then one morning she finds herself with a cigarette in her hands and it feels comfortable and right. One of the dolls in her collection has been moved.  Soon after that, she begins seeing visions of a strange blonde girl. 

Hector insists that it's only because she's been forgetting her medication, but as the visions increase, Marta's doubts grow. I loved the building sense that something is really, really wrong in Marta's life. Along with The Stepford Wives, it reminded me of Rosemary's Baby and the terrifying powerlessness that the protagonist of that book was faced with.  When the answers did come, I was a bit disappointed but I'd still recommend How to be a Good wife.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

I just finished Lyndsey Sands An English bride in Scotland and last night I started a new Hannah Howell book Highland Bride. Both are fun books to read. And by two of my favorite authors


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