Regular price: £16.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Summary

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 and Hector have been married for a long time – so long that she finds it difficult to remember her life before him. He has always taken care of her, and she has always done everything she can to be a good wife. But when Hector comes home with a secret, their ordered domestic life begins to unravel, and Marta begins to see things, or perhaps to remember them. In the shadows there is a blonde girl that only Marta can see. And she wants something .

©2013 Emma Chapman (P)2013 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Critic reviews

“Fans of Before I Go To Sleep will love this chilling debut from Emma Chapman.” (Grazia)

”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)

”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.” (Marie Claire)

”Wonderfully assured… This is a tale of the tricks repression, denial and memory can play on us… Set in an eerie, purposefully undefined part of Scandinavia, this is an unnerving, clever read. It’s one of those novels (think Gone Girl) with a big twist. Recommended for fans of S J Watson, Rosamund Lupton and Zoe Heller.” (Viv Groskop, Red)

”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)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

I wanted to listen to this book because of the reader, Fenella Woolgar who I think is utterly brilliant and because of the positive reviews. However, I soon found myself researching again, to see if anyone had found this book boring beyond belief. Half way through I was still un-engaged. I eventually just about managed to listen to the entire story with my my "Stoic hat" firmly planted on my head and as the closing credits were read I thought "Well that's a whole chunk of time I will never get back again!"

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kaggy
  • United Kingdom
  • 18-05-15

Sadly a good idea but a dreary story

Two hours into this story I decided I didn't really care if Marta was mad or Hector was bad. There is clearly something odd going on but the setting is so dull and the characters are so unengaging that I didn't feel any sense of tension or desire to unravel the mystery.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fiona
  • RatoathIreland
  • 29-05-14

Is she crazy, or is he bad!

Would you listen to How to be a Good Wife again? Why?

I really enjoyed this book. It was very well paced and really engaging. The author has engineered this book perfectly, so that the reader is never quite sure if the main character is mad or is her husband bad.

What did you like best about this story?

The sense of suspense and intrigue that the author creates and the pace of the story. It unwinds slowly, but never becomes dull.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The scenes in which the main protagonist slowly emerges from the fugue of her own confusion.As readers we take this journey with her and want to be on her side, but there is always the seed of doubt about her sanity.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely, but I savoured it over a few sittings.

Any additional comments?

Download this book and enjoy the journey!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A Real Struggle To Finish.

This is the first audio book I cannot recommend and will be returning for a refund.

Where do I start?
The storyline is weak but I kept on listening in hope it would get better. It didn't. It's so predictable that I found myself saying out loud exactly what Fenella was saying countless times. The ending took no imagination what so ever.

As for Fenella Woolgar's narration. I've come to the conclusion that she found this just as unexciting and uneventful as I did because there really was no life in her voice at all. It didn't rise or fall because there was no reason for it to I suppose. The few characters she had to portray were acceptably done. Just. They had no substance to them and she didn't try to bring them to life.

What other listeners saw in this book I truly do not know.

In conclusion I will not be buying anything by Emma Chapman nor listening to Fenella Woolgar again. This has been a trying experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Dysfunctional relationship and odd story



****BEWARE SPOILERS****

This was quiet a different story of a woman called 'Marta' and her husband 'Hector'. She appears initially and maybe in reality as a sufferer of a mental illness. The husband appears to be caring for her but the dynamics of their relationship (even if it is real and she has a mental illness) is very odd. From his perspective we are led to believe that he took her in from his doorstep and despite having to care for her mentally and sometimes physically he loves her and is still begging her 'never to leave him'. If this is true then a relevant question is why would he do this and continue to do so for some years when he was getting nothing back from it ie what was in it for him. He comes across as something of a pervert with the rape of 'Marta' in the book and the way he was under investigation for an inappropriate relationship with a student in his school. He had been suspended for 2-3 months without saying anything. Its all a little odd if you think about it.
If 'Marta' has a point re her remembering events then why should everyone believe him and why should even her son not take it further considering her obvious distress. Her son said he found no reference to her disappearance on the internet but surely there should be a record of her parents deaths and she would have had to produce a birth certificate and proof of her identity in order to marry Hector as it said they were married in a church.
I did enjoy it but do not think it would be everyones cup of tea and would not as such wholeheartedly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • Enniscorthy, Ireland
  • 18-06-14

A must read!

What did you like most about How to be a Good Wife?

Normally I gallop from read to read but this book brought me to a full stop. I had to think and make my own conclusions about how I saw life as a woman après marriage, career , children, etc. etc. I am haunted by this novel I will never forget it. Most pulp I accidentally read I think of it zero moments after finishing. I would highly recommend this book. I will definitely read it again.

What did you like best about this story?

You were truly engaged and gripped,involved, stricken and with her all the way.

What about Fenella Woolgar’s performance did you like?

Compleatly inside the veins of the protagonist, gripped me relentlessly.... Would not let go.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, yes, and yes again!!

Any additional comments?

I would strongly recommend the lover of a good book to give this some time, understand like all best books you have to give it time to evolve. Well worth the read....audio fantastic!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Aave
  • Scotland
  • 06-07-18

Dreary

I was really frustrated by this book, the idea was good but the story was dreary and the characters were not developed enough to hold my attention. I persevered but was glad when it was over.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Patj
  • United Kingdom
  • 30-05-18

Unsettling.

I found this slow and miserable at first but it hotted up eventually. I was disappointed at the ending... thought she would do more for herself.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

hated it

only got 4 chapters in before it irritated me too much to listen any further. i gave up!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A well paced story with a surprising twist

I enjoyed this story more than I expected, and although Marta can be a frustrating character at times in how she reacts to things, it's understandable why she behaves as she does, and becomes clearer as the story goes on. A good read