This book reminded me of Mrs Dalloway or Mrs Bridge… but then it became dark, unsettling and by the end it was downright disturbing. I thought the symbolism was heavy-handed, yet the book is undeniably an engrossing read with strong messages. The writing style is excellent and very original.
Told in the third person, the story follows Mrs March (I don’t know if the choice of name is meant to remind you of Mrs March, the perfect mother in Little Women), who lives a luxurious yet unhappy existence. Her husband George has just published his latest novel, which is a smash hit but it appears that he based the main character, an ugly pitiable prostitute, on her. At the same time, there is an unsolved murder of a young woman. The suspicion, jealousy and humiliation pent up inside Mrs March start to break out. She needs to discover the truth about her husband, while accepting the truth about herself.
The marketing of this book is a bit odd. It has been compared to My Sister, the Serial Killer but isn’t really the same kind of read. I have seen it described as a comedy, which it isn’t – some dark humour is there, to be sure, but it’s not a funny book, it’s horrifying – not just in a conventional sense but from a mental health perspective. And I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘gothic thriller’ either. One critic even called the book ‘delicious’ when it actually includes disgusting images of decay, insects, body fluids, etc. I do recommend the book, but be warned, it’s more disturbing than the reviews suggest.
Published in 2021.