St. Martin’s Press executive editor Jennifer Weis first got the manuscript for How to Be a Good Wife from a colleague attending the Frankfurt Book Fair. She recalls the rainy Friday when she blazed through the tense jigsaw puzzle of a novel: “Three or four hours later, I was on the phone negotiating to try to buy it before England closed! In actuality, it wouldn’t happen that day, but what hooked me—the mindset of a psychologically unreliable narrator against the backdrop of an unsparing Scandinavian landscape—never let up from page one to the end. It kept me guessing and enthralled, which is all I needed to want to have it.”
Weis’s easy love affair with How to Be a Good Wife is the polar opposite of Emma Chapman’s semi-excruciating experience writing the harrowing tale of a Marta, a woman who can barely remember a time before she was married to her husband, Hector—perhaps with good reason. Chapman was 23 when she climbed inside Marta’s head, an experience she describes as claustrophobic: “Three years is a long time to be trapped in someone else’s mind, especially someone as trying as Marta.”
This thriller, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue’s Room and S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, has also sold in France, Germany, Italy, Australia, and the U.K.