May 2014 Debut of the Month.
This is a tough little book. What starts out as a nice story about a sweet woman trying to please her husband and suffering a little from empty nest syndrome in an isolated area in Sweden, turns into a menacing tale of desperation and, in my mind, horror. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a horror story, it is just what the poor girl has gone through that really distressed me. It is creepy and very good indeed. For years her life has been ‘normal’ but now she decides to stop taking the medication. Her memories start flashing before her, and things become very dark.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
I know what my husband would say: that I have too much time on my hands; that I need to keep myself busy. That I need to take my medication. Empty nest syndrome, he tells his friends at the pub, his mother. He's always said I have a vivid imagination. Marta has been married to Hector for longer than she can remember. She has always tried hard to be a good wife. But now Hector has come home with a secret. And Marta is beginning to imagine -- or revisit -- a terrifying truth ...
'Taut, elegant and pitch-perfect. As soon as you've read it you'll want to talk about it'. Evie Wyld, author of After the Fire, A Still Small Voice 'Compelling, edgy and dark -- I read How To Be a Good Wife in one sitting'. Jane Rusbridge, author of Rook and The Devil's Music 'An impressive debut novel. Here's hoping there'll be more from Emma Chapman'
M. J. Hyland, Man Booker prize shortlisted author of Carry Me Down and This is How
'A tense, unnerving debut, told with precision and control. As unsettling as any ghost story'
Simon Lelic, author of Rupture and The Child Who
'A compelling debut: tightly plotted, tensely written, and subtle in its explorations of motive. Emma Chapman is very accomplished and a bright hope for the future'. Sir Andrew Motion
'On the surface the book is a highly competent, creepy little chiller, but beneath, like a silent, bolted and half-dark room, there's a much bigger, equally disconcerting story about the nature of feminine experience. It's an accomplished debut from a writer who shows insight and emotional power'. Hilary Mantel, Man Booker Prize winning author of Wolf Hall
'Claustrophobic, startling and hauntingly beautiful. It's that amazing, awful kind of book that will stay with you long after you wish it would let you go'
Liza Klaussmann, author of Tigers in Red Weather
'This taut debut will have you rooting for Marta as she rediscovers who she was before her marriage. A must-read for fans of S.J.Watson'. Easy Living
'The after-effects of the dark and uncomfortable story linger long after the last page ... a gripping piece of writing where everything is not quite as it seems'. Psychologies
'An intensifying mood of menace pervades this mesmerising debut. Is the fragile Marta slipping into paranoia? Or glimpsing agonising insights into a devastating nightmare about herself and her perfect marriage...?'
David Hewson, author of The Killing
'A compelling, twisty tale of deception and distrust. Beautifully written, and very clever indeed'. Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner
'Fans of Before I Go To Sleep will love this chilling debut from Emma Chapman'. Grazia
'A chilling study of paranoia and doubt... Chapman builds the tension, as Marta's behaviour becomes more erratic and her seemingly benign husband begins to appear in a sinister light. An unnerving tale, where nothing is as it seems.'
'Compelling and complex, this brave novel offers no safety nets... Not just a gripping read but an essential one. It will provoke questions long after the cover is closed'. Ruth Dugdall, author of The Woman Before Me, winner of the CWA debut dagger award
Publication date: 24/04/2014
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
|Publication date:||24th April 2014|
|Publisher:||Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan|
|Genres:||Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Emma Chapman was born in 1985 and grew up in Manchester. She studied English Literature at Edinburgh University, followed by a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. After university, she travelled in Scandinavia, which inspired the setting for How To Be a Good Wife. This is her first novel.More About Emma Chapman