“Today, somehow, I am a smoker. I did not know this about myself. As far as I know, I have never smoked before…”


Is Marta losing it?

When How To Be A Good Wife begins, Marta is smoking a cigarette at her kitchen table. It is an odd experience: she can’t ever remember having smoked in the past, but her movements are practised, as if she knows what she is doing…

It is strange, out-of-character acts like this which begin Marta’s journey into either recollection or madness. When we meet her, Marta is an obedient wife and mother. She has fulfilled this role for the last twenty five years. Since she has stopped taking her small pink pills, she has felt off-kilter.  As the book progresses, we are offered numerous reasons for this.

Read more about mental illness in the novel

What do you think? Is Marta delusional? Or is something from her past becoming unearthed?


Marta marriage“I feel like rebelling, even though I’m not sure I have anything to rebel against. Hector is a good husband, a good father. I just feel dissatisfied.” Click on Marta to find out more about mental illness in the novel.


HECTOR“If I caught Marta smoking in the house, I’d be very disappointed. She knows how much I hate it, and it is my home after all.” Click on Hector to find out more about marriage in the novel.


One thought on “Smoking

  1. There’s definitely something funny going on. It’s hard to believe that Marta hasn’t got a past: her behaviour is so odd. I thought Hector was pretty creepy!!

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