The Good Wife

The Good Wife

by Samra Zafar
  • diversity
  • feminism
  • memoir

Born in Pakistan to a Muslim family, and raised in a small town in the United Arab Emirates, Samra Zafar was an outspoken girl with big ambitions. She was going to attend a prestigious university, embark on a challenging career, and build a full and satisfying life for herself. Or so she thought.

At the age of sixteen she was shocked to discover that others had different plans for her: she would be getting married to a man eleven years older who lived in Canada. Unable to withstand social and family pressure, Samra succumbed, arriving in a strange new country as a child bride--and becoming a mother soon after. And then her dreams receded further into the distance. Her husband and his family prohibited her from going back to school. Under their oppressive control, her world became smaller and smaller—and eventually turned violent. A confusing cycle of affection and abuse, as well as a culture of honour and shame, kept Samra trapped. “Good women stay quiet” she was told again and again. As year after harrowing year passed, Samra’s confidence and self-esteem fell away, yet her hope for an education never faded. Indeed, this idea--that she would someday go to university--drove her to find clever but insistent ways to claim tiny bits of power and independence within the family. Finally, at the age of twenty-six, nervous and alone, she was able to walk into her first class at university. She thought she had reached her destination. But it turned out to be only the beginning of her journey.

An inspiring true story of adversity and courage, The Good Wife follows Samra’s rocky and tumultuous road out of her abusive marriage and into single motherhood and a successful career. In doing so, it sheds light on the forms and cycles of abuse, and the misplaced shame and honour that keeps many trapped and silent. But Samra’s story is also a deeply intimate, profoundly moving tale of hope and the extraordinary power of community, self-discovery, and the human spirit.


Samra Zafar, author

Samra Zafar is an International Speaker, two-time TEDx Presenter, Human Rights Activist, Scholar, and Social Entrepreneur. Samra proudly graduated with a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Toronto with the highest distinction, winning over a dozen awards and scholarships. She was the first mature student to win the most prestigious John Moss Award, a $17k scholarship awarded annually to the single most outstanding student across all three U of T campuses. Today, she serves as the youngest alumni Governor for the University, while pursuing a rewarding career in financial services. Samra advocates tirelessly for equity, human rights, women’s rights, diversity and inclusion through many channels. Her passion is to motivate and empower all people to believe in themselves, achieve their goals and reach their full potential, no matter what the circumstances might be. Samra’s story and work have been featured in prominent media, including Toronto Life, CTV, CBC, Global News, Yahoo, and many others, collectively reaching tens of millions of people worldwide.

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Transatlantic Agency



rights available: World, excl. Canada

Additional Information

number of pages: 250

publication date: 05/01/2019

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: sample