Mrs. Osmond

Mrs. Osmond

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea and The Blue Guitar--a dazzling new novel that extends the story of Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady, into unexpected (and completely stand-alone) territory. Isabel Archer is a young American woman, swept off to Europe in the late nineteenth century by an aunt who hopes to round out the impetuous but naive girl's experience of the world. When Isabel comes into a large, unexpected inheritance, she is finagled into a marriage with the charming, penniless, and--as Isabel finds out too late--cruel and deceitful Gilbert Osmond, whose connection to a certain Madame Merle is suspiciously intimate. On a trip to England to visit her cousin Ralph Touchett on his deathbed, Isabel is offered a chance to free herself from the marriage, but nonetheless chooses to return to Italy. Banville follows James's story line to this point, but Mrs. Osmond is thoroughly Banville's own: the narrative inventiveness; the lyrical precision and surprise of his language; the layers of emotional and psychological intensity; the subtle, dark humor. And when Isabel arrives in Italy--along with someone else!--the novel takes off in directions that James himself would be thrilled to follow"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2017
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780451493422
0451493427
Characteristics: 369 pages ; 22 cm

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Nicr Sep 27, 2017

Isabel Archer Osmond's exit from Gardencourt following the death of her cousin Ralph is the launching point for Banville's resumption of the Henry James heroine's story. She decides to buy her way out of her mercenary marriage; how she ransoms herself forms the plot of the novel.Gorgeous sentence upon gorgeous sentence, her story unfolds. There really is no finer stylist in contemporary fiction.

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