First Chapter, First Paragraph – ‘How to be a Good Wife’ by Emma Chapman


First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea – it’s is a weekly meme where you share the first paragraph (or two) from a book you are considering reading.

I have no shortage of books on my Australian Women Writers reading challenge list but can’t help seeking more. These first few paragraphs are from How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman are enough to hook me.

“Today, somehow, I am a smoker.

I did not know this about myself. As far as I remember, I have never smoked before.

It feels unnatural, ill-fitting, for a woman of my age: a wife, a mother with a grown-up son, to sit in the middle of the day with a cigarette between her fingers. Hector hates smoking. He always coughs sharply when we walk behind someone smoking on the street, and I imagine his vocal cords rubbing together, moist and pink like chicken flesh.”

I like unreliable narrators and apparently the main character in this story, Marta, is as wobbly as they come. So, buy it or bin it?

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