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Summary

Set to become a major motion picture starring Elizabeth Moss.

Shirley Jackson meets Ottessa Moshfegh meets My Sister the Serial Killer in a brilliantly unsettling and darkly funny debut novel full of suspense and paranoia.

George March’s latest novel is a smash hit. None could be prouder than Mrs March, his dutiful wife, who revels in his accolades and relishes the lifestyle and status his success brings.

A creature of routine and decorum, Mrs March lives an exquisitely controlled existence on the Upper East Side. Every morning begins the same way, with a visit to her favourite patisserie to buy a loaf of olive bread, but her latest trip proves to be her last when she suffers an indignity from which she may never recover: an assumption by the shopkeeper that the protagonist in George March’s new book - a pathetic sex worker, more a figure of derision than desire - is based on Mrs March.

One casual remark robs Mrs March not only of her beloved olive bread but of the belief that she knew everything about her husband - and herself - sending her on an increasingly paranoid journey, one that starts within the pages of a book but may very well uncover both a killer and the long-buried secrets of Mrs March’s past.

A razor-sharp exploration of the fragility of identity and the smothering weight of expectations, Mrs March heralds the arrival of a wicked and wonderful new voice.

©2021 Virginia Feito (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"I read Mrs March in one sitting and was so captured by it.... As a character, [Mrs March] is fascinating, complex, and deeply human." (Elizabeth Moss)

"Mrs. March is just the Madame Bovary-meets-Patricia Highsmith feminist psychoanalytic comedy-of-manners thriller that I didn't know I so desperately needed. I almost destroyed my life by staying up so late reading. I am lucky my house is still standing." (Elif Batuman, author of  The Idiot)

"A delicious, disorienting study of suspicion, societal pressure and shifting identities, brilliantly rendered. I swallowed this tale down as greedily as if it were Mrs. March's beloved olive bread." (Rachel Edwards, author of Darling)

"Nastily good fun." (Metro)

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dismal

I wanted this story to improve, but had to abandon it. The characters are unlikeable, the descriptions dreary and the narrator monotonous. How a film could be made of this I struggle to imagine.

1 person found this helpful

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Well written but rather uncomfortable read

This is one of those stories where none of the characters are likeable, especially the main one. This makes the reading quite uncomfortable as you always want to somehow empathise, especially with the underdog. This is a story of Mrs March's gradual descent into madness but it is impossible to like her or indeed anyone else. There is a strong feeling of the social atmosphere in New York of that period although I suspect (and hope for the sake of people who lived through those times), that it is exaggerated. The story is very well written and an easy read despite the complex personalities. I do think that it has the potential to be a literary classic.

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Complete and utter waste of time

The whole book is basically a day in the life of someone who has serious mental problems. No story whatsoever