Advance reader reviews of How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman.

How to Be a Good Wife

By Emma Chapman

How to Be a Good Wife
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2013,
    288 pages.

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There are currently 22 member reviews
for How to Be a Good Wife
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  • Jan Z. (Jefferson, SD)


    How to Be a Good Wife
    Sometimes the probability of something happening vs. the possibility of that thing happening can make or break a novel. This debut novel's plot seemed implausible to me, which made it somewhat of a drudgery to read. The saving factor was that it was well written and the characters were basically, though perhaps a little routinely, interesting (especially the weak Marta). Hector could have been a little more developed, I never felt like I really "knew" him. I never liked Marta, but she was a rounded character for the most part.

    I would give the novel a "poor" rating for the plot seeming to be so improbable, but the writing, dialogue, and characters were all somewhat well done, so I gave it an "average" rating.
  • Theresa D. (Amityville, NY)


    Fork in the Road
    I found this book very familiar and also very disturbing. I grew up with an alcoholic father, a domineering husband and a history of mental illness. I kept hoping that Marta would find the help that she needed!
    I think Mental Illness is very difficult to deal with. Both the patient and the family can find it hard to discern between reality and delusion. This novel definitely gave credence to both sides. There were times when Marta saw reality as a delusion and other episodes were merely reminiscences.
    There are so many stories in today's news about real people who are experiencing lives similar to Marta. How can we expect their families to solve and heal the realities that their loved ones are bearing? I thank Hilary Mantel for starting the dialogue.
  • Nanette S.


    How to Be a Good Wife
    Very good debut story about the life of Marta and Hector. They have been married for so long Marta remembers nothing before her wedding to Hector, yet she is starting to hear voices and see a young blonde girl, or is she? Can it be she is missing her son since he has moved out for good, or is something from her past coming to the surface? Her life seems to be very simple, or is something deeper happening? Is she well, or does she need her pills, those same pills she had taken early in her marriage as suggested by her husband? Decide for yourself.
  • Teresa H. (Mechanicsville, VA)


    Just ok
    I had a hard time with this book. It started out very slowly and I never really got a feel for the characters. I suppose the intention was to keep the reader off guard and that worked well but for me Marta never seemed like a real person.
  • Maggie R. (Canoga Park, CA)


    This is going to divide its readers
    Well written and tense, it won't let you draw easy conclusions. If you must "care about" characters, this may not be for you. If you want dark and unsettling, give it a try.
  • Sharon L. (Bowie, MD)


    More detail Needed!
    This book lacked "definition"; for example where and when did it take place - more detail about "the setting" would made it more engaging. Although it was well written and some of the descriptions brought things to life, it wasn't enough to compensate for the fact that the characters were not likable, the story often confusing, and the ending rather trite.
  • Anita F. (Clayton, MO)


    How to Be a Good Wife
    A great debut novel, How to Be a Good Wife is also well-executed suspense. From page one, it kept me barely able to restrain myself from skipping ahead to see how it ended. The characters are brilliantly depicted. The just-under-the-surface tension leaves you really wondering what is real and what is imagined. I'd recommend the book to anyone looking for a good plot and great characters.
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