The Guardian Reviews “My Husband”

My Husband by Maud Ventura review – a passion victim

A sensation in France, this tale of a besotted wife who demands devotion from her husband has been likened to Patricia Highsmith and Gone Girl

By Hephzibah Anderson

A week may be a long time in politics but it can feel longer still in a tempestuous marriage. Superficially, the couple at the centre of Maud Ventura’s compulsively disquieting debut embody domestic bliss: they have good looks and professional success, two children and an elegant home. Yet over the course of just seven days, the novel’s besotted narrator convinces herself that her spouse of 13 years is variously having an affair, utterly devoted to her and poised to demand a divorce. The prologue hints at a looming crisis, but what maintains the suspense is the heroine’s combination of subjugation and vengeful empowerment (the secret notebook in which she logs her husband’s misdemeanours feels like payback for every fairytale women have been fed about romantic love). There’s simply no way of telling how far she’ll go, and her increasingly volatile unreliability as a narrator makes the story all the more riveting.

“I love my husband as much as the first day I met him,” she says. “I think of my husband all the time; I wish I could text him all day. I imagine telling him I love him every morning, and I dream of making love to him every night.” It’s a kind of boast – there’s vanity in it, and no wonder, given the efforts she makes to maintain this long extension of their honeymoon period. A regime of body-sculpting yoga and going glasses-free because her husband prefers it are just the beginning: every aspect of her life is sublimated to her feelings for him. Read the full review at The Guardian.

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