Thursday, May 14, 2015

How To Be a Good Wife

No, I am not handing out advice but this is the title of the book I just finished. Author Emma Chapman actually signed this book that I picked up in the Target Book Club aisle the other day.  When am I going to learn? This is the second book that I have picked up there that I have not enjoyed!! I gave up on the Oprah Book Club many years ago because every book that was suggested would leave the reader in the slough of despond! Well the Target Book Club books are not always depressing but are just rather strange.

The blurb on the cover of this book sounded is the story of a couple who have been married for 20 something years. They seem comfortable in their relationship but the wife is wondering if she is truly happy.  Set in an unnamed Scandinavian country, Hector and Marta live a quiet life. Hector, who is twenty years older than Marta, is a respected teacher at a local high school. Their son, Kylan, is on his own so these years should be happy ones for Hector and Marta as they have time to enjoy one another. However, Marta begins to question her marriage. Marta cannot remember how she met Hector. He tells their friends that they met on holiday when he saved her from drowning.  However, Hector tells Marta that he found her one day on his doorstep, unresponsive and he nursed her back to life. Marta marries Hector much to Hector's mother's dismay. Marta is not at all what Matilda wanted as a daughter in law. Matilda gives Marta a book titled How to Be a Good Wife. This book is straight from the 50s....instructing the wife to put aside her needs and wants for her husband. And Marta tried to follow this book to make Hector happy and to keep things calm in their household.  Over the years Marta has taken a little pink pill that her doctor has prescribed. But one day Marta decides to stop taking the pills without Hector's knowledge or approval.  Here is where the book becomes something of a mystery. Who is Marta? How did she end up on Hector's doorstep? Is she mentally unbalanced or has Hector made her think she is crazy? And what about he the respected local teacher or a controlling monster?

While this book is thought provoking, I hate a book that is unresolved. Sorry...that is why I read books to get to the bottom of the story. Sadly with this book, there is no resolution and the ending is disappointing. I gave it a two out of five rating on Good Reads because it was a compelling story but it just went on too long and I was unhappy with the ending. Now I am reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline and it is much more my cup of tea!


Linda said...

I so agree with you!!! I want a good and proper ending!! Even if it's not the way I wanted it to be! AND I want all the loose ends tied up!! I have noticed even a book or two of Robin Cook's - he didn't tie up all the loose ends!!

Have you read Rosamund Pilcher? She is elderly and doesn't write anymore but her books are set in London/Scotland/Ireland and are delicious!! Deep and rich and it feels like you simply walk into her writing and are THERE!!!
Shell Seekers was made into a movie with Angela Lansbury - years ago.
I read Orphan Train - my cup of tea, too!!

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Oh Linda, Rosamund Pilcher is a favorite of mine. I love all her books but Winter Solstice is my favorite. And I loved the movie, Shell Seekers with one of my favorite actresses...Miss Lansbury!! I love the way some of the same characters made appearances in her books and it gave us a different view of them.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the book. I haven't read anything lately. I did pick up a cookbook at the thrift store recently.

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh that book sounds like a soap opera! Thank you for the "caution" sign! :-)

Arlene @Nanaland said...

I try to read every night for thirty minutes to an hour before the light goes out so I look forward to a good story and am I ever mad when I pay for a book that is a dud!! I am going to try to walk past the book aisle without lingering!!