How to Be a Good Wife
On the surface Marta Bjornstad is a lonely, middle aged woman going through empty nest syndrome. Her attentive husband Hector sees to making sure she takes her pills. “You know what happens when you don’t,” he admonishes. Yet for the past few weeks Marta has faked taking them, and she begins having visions of a blonde girl. The visions are disturbing, yet something drives Marta to refuse to medicate herself so she can solve the mystery of the girl, even at the risk of her own sanity.
Marta and Hector’s son Kylan comes home for a weekend visit with his girlfriend Katya, and the announcement of his engagement accelerates Marta’s illusions toward the sinister truth about her own marriage.
How to Be a Good Wife is a tense, claustrophobic, and ultimately heartbreaking mystery. My details are sketchy because I don’t want to reveal spoilers. If you were intrigued by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” or Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” How to Be a Good Wife will keep you awake for a few nights. Available Nov 4, 2014 in paperback. Picador Books
I recently received two other ARCs in the mail, yet I won’t be reviewing them because, as I said in a previous post,http://laura-moe.blogspot.com/2014/09/are-one-star-reviews-fair.html I don’t like writing bad reviews. I know how hard it is to write a novel, even a bad one. One of these I received from Goodreads. It’s a self published mystery that lacks tension. Rather than publicly humiliate the author, I will send it back to her, and perhaps she can find someone who will praise it.
The other one is from a small press. It too, is a mystery, but the writing itself is godawful. I blame the editor not to pare down the wordy sentences and the numerous misplaced similes that make this particular novel an awkward read. The book may appeal to readers who read just for plot, but I’m an unapologetic word snob. Words are like paint on a palette, and if the writer cannot paint the prose with the right words in the right order, the writing is beige.
Note to self: when entering a Goodreads contest, check out who published the book before clicking on enter.
On a positive note, a recent essay of mine got quoted on Cleveland Poetics
Meanwhile, check out the entire essay in Poet's Quarterly: