Friday, August 23, 2013

A Disappointing Psychological Thriller

Without her son to brighten her life, Marta has stopped taking her medication. She desperately loves her son, but it's not so clear about her much older husband and his domineering mother. Hector, her husband, rescued her after her parents died in an accident. He married her, and since then she has led a very restricted life trying to be a “good wife” following the precepts set out in How to Be a Good Wife, a book given to her by her mother-in-law.

Without her pills, she begins to have either memories of her past, or hallucinations. It's unclear which. Marta lives in a state of helplessness and frustration. We wants to find out about the memories, but can't seem to make adequate plans to do so. Perhaps she is the victim of a plot to keep her from remembering and finding out the truth.

I found the first part of this book very slow going. We learn about Marta and her husband, see her walking through her day, and learn about her love for her son, but the narrative plods. In the second half of the book the pace quickens, but by then I'd lost interest in the characters. Since the story is told through Marta's skewed perceptions some of the interactions with other are rather two-dimensional.

I didn't enjoy this book. I found the ending disappointing after all the tension leading up to Marta trying to find the truth. I think if the author had been cleverer, she could have provided a satisfactory ending no matter whether Marta was mad or a victim.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.