Mrs. March

Virginia Feito. Liveright, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-63149-861-9
Societal roles so thoroughly define the titular Upper East Side Manhattan matron of Feito’s elegantly written, unflinchingly observed debut—first as the unwanted younger daughter in a frosty upper-crust New York family, now as the fastidious wife of literary sensation George March—that her first name isn’t revealed until the final sentence. And Mrs. March’s sense of self is sufficiently tenuous that it takes but a throwaway inquiry from the clerk at her favorite patisserie concerning whether the protagonist in George’s current bestseller was modeled on her to trigger the initial tremors of an emotional earthquake. The increasingly delusional Mrs. March becomes convinced that her husband may have murdered a young woman in Maine during one of his annual hunting trips, a hypothesis she attempts to investigate. Though the suspense remains high up to the horrific final surprise, much of this woman-pushed-to-the-brink-of-madness story feels familiar, and if not for some contemporary references, Mrs. March’s breakdown could be occurring in a Henry James drawing room. One looks forward to Feito training her clearly considerable talents on fresher material next time around. Agent: Kent Wolf, Neon Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/09/2021
Release date: 08/10/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-324-09196-7
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