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Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Face Off: How to Be a Good Wife

A few days ago, I posted an excerpt & a giveaway for Emma Chapman's How to Be a Good Wife. As I was preparing the post, I noticed some of the other covers for the book on Goodreads, and I was quite taken with them, both individually and as a set (for how different they were from one another). I was going to include them in the post, but I figured might as well take advantage and turn it over to you, to see what you guys think. Below is a selection of the covers for the book; each has a similar ominous, trapped tone, but each is very different in its approach to conveying it. Take a look, read through the synopsis if you'd like, and then let us know in the comments, which one makes you the most curious? Which would you reach for on the shelves, to find out what it's about? Which would you rather display on your own shelves?
Which one did it better?
about How to Be a Good Wife:
In the tradition of Emma Donoghue's Room and S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, a haunting literary debut about a woman who begins having visions that make her question everything she knows
Marta and Hector have been married for a long time. Through the good and bad; through raising a son and sending him off to life after university. So long, in fact, that Marta finds it difficult to remember her life before Hector. He has always taken care of her, and she has always done everything she can to be a good wife—as advised by a dog-eared manual given to her by Hector’s aloof mother on their wedding day.
But now, something is changing. Small things seem off. A flash of movement in the corner of her eye, elapsed moments that she can’t recall. Visions of a blonde girl in the darkness that only Marta can see. Perhaps she is starting to remember—or perhaps her mind is playing tricks on her. As Marta’s visions persist and her reality grows more disjointed, it’s unclear if the danger lies in the world around her, or in Marta herself. The girl is growing more real every day, and she wants something.

Last Week on FFO: Two very different versions of A.S. King's Please Ignore Vera Dietz went head to head, and the iconicly simple original cover blew the competition out of the water. You thought the paperback redesign was generic and not memorable, and not all that representative of the story.
Winner ------>


  1. I really like the middle one with the woman look out the window.

  2. I absolutely love the last one with the wine glass trapping the butterfly. I think you can look at it quickly and say "Oh, that's pretty!" but when you look harder, there's something ominous about it.

  3. I'd second the caught butterfly cover, I think it's a great representation of the disturbing title.

  4. My favorite is the middle one showing the back of the woman. It makes you wonder what she's looking at and why she seems so lonely. What is she thinking? I get the impression she's not in a happy marriage.

    The one with the glass and the butterfly is a little intriguing. It makes me wonder if it's a scene from the book or if it's a metaphorical interpretation of it, as if the wife is a beautiful butterfly trapped in a bad marriage. However, it looks like it could be the cover for a nonfiction book, too.

    The cover with the door is my least favorite. It's boring and could go with any number of books. It definitely doesn't invite me to "open" the book.

  5. I prefer the door cover; I like the shadows and the typographic choices.
    The one with the glass and butterfly looks too much like a nonfiction cover to suit me for a novel. And while I'm not generally much impressed with images of the back of someone's head, I might have favored the middle cover more if not for the ultra vertical lettering which just isn't working for me.

  6. I think the closed door book has a really ominous flavour to it, as it says a lot about the forbidden or 'closed off' areas of life. I can understand why people would find it a bit boring, but I think the shadows and light in that cover really works well with the novel's overall tone.

  7. Definitely the door cover! It makes you question what this closed door is implying based on the title - they are an interesting combo

  8. The story sounds delightfully creepy (I love a good psychological thriller) and the only cover that matches that is the first one (the closed door). The girl at the window is a weak cover premise, and doesn't engage me at all- the butterfly trapped in the wine glass is too photoshopped/unrealistic and makes me think, oddly, of a comedy instead of a thriller. The door, though.....that's all sorts of ominous.

  9. I vote for the middle one, it is the only one I would randomly pick off the shelf to see what it was about.

  10. The third cover with the butterfly trapped in the glass is my favorite. It is by far the most aesthetically appealing and original in my opinion. It also, it seems to evoke the story the best, because the butterfly trapped in the glass represents Marta trapped in her stifling marriage. At least, this is the impression I get from the blurb.

  11. I'm also throwing my vote in for the door cover. The other two are nice, but if I walked past the first one at the book store, I wouldn't be able to keep going without picking it up.


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