At fifteen, Samra Zafar had big dreams for herself. Then with almost no warning, those dreams were pulled away from her when she was suddenly married to a stranger at seventeen and had to leave behind her family in Pakistan to move to Canada.
In the years that followed she suffered her husband’s emotional and physical abuse that left her feeling isolated, humiliated and assaulted. Desperate to get out, she hatched an escape plan for herself and her two daughters.
A Good Wife tells her inspiring story.
Read an excerpt from the book below:
I wake to the crackling of bird calls outside my bedroom window, the anemic light of a Canadian spring morning seeping through the curtains. I lie very still, listening. The house is quiet. My in-laws are in the bedroom down the hall. My husband sleeps ten feet below me, in the den. My infant daughter slumbers peacefully beside me. At first, I’m surprised to see her. Why didn’t I put her in her crib in the room next door last night? Why is she still here with me? And then I remember. I rub a painful spot on my upper chest. My heart aches almost every morning, but today my ribs are sore as well.
As my drowsiness falls away, another feeling works its way through my body. A frayed, rippling tension, a growing brittleness: anticipation and fear. At any moment, the cold brick house will come alive, and I will be thrown together with the rest of the inhabitants. If all goes well, Ahmed will take his lunch and walk wordlessly out the front door, and I will start on a long, dull day, locked here in the house with his mother and my daughter. The hours will creep by, broken only by chores, television, empty chat.
But perhaps it won’t be dull. Yesterday was not dull. Or at least it didn’t end that way. And I have come to understand that in this new world of mine, anything other than grey monotony is scary. Anything else is dangerous.
My daughter shifts. I can hear my mother-in-law’s slippers as she begins to pad about her room. It is time for me to go in to say salaam. It is time for me to head downstairs with the baby. It is time for me to make my husband’s lunch. It is time for me to start my dreary routine.
As I rise, I realize that I am saying a little prayer. I am praying for luck. I am praying for another dull day.
Intrigued about what happens next? You will have to read A Good Wife to find out!