Author: Megan Hunter
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: November 3, 2020
Book Description: Part revenge tale, part fairytale, The Harpy is an electrifying story of marriage, infidelity and power by the author of the #1 Indie Next Pick, The End We Start From, Megan Hunter
Lucy and Jake live in a house by a field where the sun burns like a ball of fire. Lucy has set her career aside in order to devote her life to the children, to their finely tuned routine, and to the house itself, which comforts her like an old, sly friend. But then a man calls one afternoon with a shattering message: his wife has been having an affair with Lucy’s husband, Jake.
The revelation marks a turning point: Lucy and Jake decide to stay together, but make a special arrangement designed to even the score and save their marriage—she will hurt him three times.
As the couple submit to a delicate game of crime and punishment, Lucy herself begins to change, surrendering to a transformation of both mind and body from which there is no return.
Told in dazzling, musical prose, The Harpy is a dark, staggering fairy tale, at once mythical and otherworldly and fiercely contemporary. It is a novel of love, marriage and its failures, of power, control and revenge, of metamorphosis and renewal.
Rating: 3 stars
Rating: This is a difficult book to review. It is super short, and the author packs every moment of this book with development that will make your head swoon at times. You cannot miss a word or sentence or you very likely miss something.
Jake and Lucy are married with 2 kids. When the book opens Lucy finds out her husband is having an affair with another woman. This is the setup for what is to come. When Lucy confronts Jake, he gives all the staple responses that you expect, which Lucy quickly notices. As you would expect things are quite terse with them. After an minor incident Jake texts Lucy and says she can get revenge on him three times and then this needs to be forgotten.
This is where we get to the crux of this story. Immediately Lucy delivers her first act of revenge, and boy is she is satisfied. As the story develops , Lucy continues to spiral downward knowing of her husband’s infidelity. I won’t say much more because the end of the book is quite a surprise.
Why I find this hard to review, is the “fairy tale” element. To mix these elements confused me at times. The style goes back and forth a lot and I really had to take stock of what exactly was going on. The author does a wonderful job describing what is like to learn to live with this awful relationship altering news, but when you add these other elements it just changes the dynamic of the entire book and I am not sure I liked it.
The form is original, but I feel this will work for some and other people will be turned off by the style. The good news it is extremely short and moves incredibly fast, so I think it worth giving a try. I would love to hear more feedback from other readers once this book makes it into the world.
Thank you NetGalley and Grove Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.