Tuesday, October 1, 2013

RIP VIII Book Review: How To Be A Good Wife by Emma Chapman

One day late, since September ended yesterday, but I'm still going to count this as my fourth and final RIP VIII book, since I finished it during September.  

This book is about Marta, a dutiful and devoted housewife who has found herself at loose ends since her only son has left home.  Her whole life was built around carefully following the instructions in a book given to her by her mother-in-law, titled How To Be A Good Wife.  She's so wrapped up in her family, she finds it hard to remember a time before they existed.  In addition to her loneliness Marta has stopped taking her medication and she's catching glimpses of a dirty, disheveled blonde girl from the corner of her eye.  That little girl may hold the key to Marta's creeping sense that something is wrong with her life - or is it just a sign of her increasing disconnect with reality?

I was more than pleased with the quality of writing.  It's slower than your typical thriller, in terms of action, but the suspense was just what I was looking for.  I loved having an unreliable narrator and I thought the ending was amazing.

Entertainment Value
This is my favorite kind of suspense writing - very psychological, not necessarily gory or gruesome.  I think the author did a great job of slowly building up the creepiness and letting things be uncomfortably tense for the reader and the characters.   

My one complaint with the book is that I guessed the plot twist on page 76.  I think the publisher's description of the book gives away way too much.  I never try to guess what's coming in a suspense book and I'm usually surprised by plot twists, but having read the publisher's description, I guessed this one pretty early on in the book.  I created my own description for this one based on that, and if you can avoid the publisher's blurb, you may be more surprised.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book to review!

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