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Mrs. March: A Novel
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Published:
Liveright 2021
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Description

"I read Virginia's novel in one sitting and was so captured by it I knew I had to make it and play Mrs. March. As a character, she is fascinating, complex, and deeply human and I can't wait to sink my teeth into her." —Elisabeth Moss


A Jenny Lawson "Fantastic Strangeling Book Club" Selection

Oprah Daily • Best of the Month

USA Today • Books Not to Miss


Who is Mrs. March?


George March's latest novel is a smash. No one could be prouder than his dutiful wife, Mrs. March, who revels in his accolades. A careful creature of routine and decorum, she lives a precariously controlled existence on the Upper East Side until one morning, when the shopkeeper of her favorite patisserie suggests that her husband's latest protagonist—a detestable character named Johanna—is based on Mrs. March herself. Clutching her ostrich leather pocketbook and mint-colored gloves, she flees the shop. What could have merited this humiliation?


That one casual remark robs Mrs. March of the belief that she knew everything about her husband—and herself—thus sending her on an increasingly paranoid journey that begins within the pages of a book. While snooping in George's office, Mrs. March finds a newspaper clipping about a missing woman. Did George have anything to do with her disappearance? He's been going on a lot of "hunting trips" up north with his editor lately, leaving Mrs. March all alone at night with her tormented thoughts, and the cockroaches that have suddenly started to appear, and strange breathing noises . . . As she begins to decode her husband's secrets, her deafening anxiety and fierce determination threaten everyone in her wake—including her stoic housekeeper, Martha, and her unobtrusive son, Jonathan, whom she loves so profoundly, when she remembers to love him at all.


Combining a Hitchcockian sensibility with wickedly dark humor, Virginia Feito, a brilliantly talented and, at times, mischievous newcomer, offers a razor-sharp exploration of the fragility of identity. A mesmerizing novel of psychological suspense and casebook insecurity turned full-blown neurosis, Mrs. March will have you second-guessing your own seemingly familiar reflection in the mirror.
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Street Date:
08/10/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781631498626
ASIN:
B08L6YMQGC
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Virginia Feito. (2021). Mrs. March: A Novel. Liveright.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Virginia Feito. 2021. Mrs. March: A Novel. Liveright.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Virginia Feito, Mrs. March: A Novel. Liveright, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Virginia Feito. Mrs. March: A Novel. Liveright, 2021.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Aug 08, 2021 10:44:34
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: A native of Spain, Virginia Feito was raised in Madrid and Paris. She studied English and drama at Queen Mary University of London, and advertising at Miami Ad School. She lives in Madrid, where she writes her fiction in English.
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fullDescription

"I read Virginia's novel in one sitting and was so captured by it I knew I had to make it and play Mrs. March. As a character, she is fascinating, complex, and deeply human and I can't wait to sink my teeth into her." —Elisabeth Moss

A Jenny Lawson "Fantastic Strangeling Book Club" Selection
Oprah Daily • Best of the Month
USA Today • Books Not to Miss

Who is Mrs. March?

George March's latest novel is a smash. No one could be prouder than his dutiful wife, Mrs. March, who revels in his accolades. A careful creature of routine and decorum, she lives a precariously controlled existence on the Upper East Side until one morning, when the shopkeeper of her favorite patisserie suggests that her husband's latest protagonist—a detestable character named Johanna—is based on Mrs. March herself. Clutching her ostrich leather pocketbook and mint-colored gloves, she flees the shop. What could have merited this humiliation?

That one casual remark robs Mrs. March of the belief that she knew everything about her husband—and herself—thus sending her on an increasingly paranoid journey that begins within the pages of a book. While snooping in George's office, Mrs. March finds a newspaper clipping about a missing woman. Did George have anything to do with her disappearance? He's been going on a lot of "hunting trips" up north with his editor lately, leaving Mrs. March all alone at night with her tormented thoughts, and the cockroaches that have suddenly started to appear, and strange breathing noises . . . As she begins to decode her husband's secrets, her deafening anxiety and fierce determination threaten everyone in her wake—including her stoic housekeeper, Martha, and her unobtrusive son, Jonathan, whom she loves so profoundly, when she remembers to love him at all.

Combining a Hitchcockian sensibility with wickedly dark humor, Virginia Feito, a brilliantly talented and, at times, mischievous newcomer, offers a razor-sharp exploration of the fragility of identity. A mesmerizing novel of psychological suspense and casebook insecurity turned full-blown neurosis, Mrs. March will have you second-guessing your own seemingly familiar reflection in the mirror.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Christine Mangan;New York Times Book Review
      • content: [Feito] manages to capture this world entirely, while simultaneously ratcheting up the tension caused by Mrs. March's increasingly fractured psyche, in a way that recalls novels by Patricia Highsmith and Margaret Millar. And like these predecessors, Feito explores issues of autonomy, insecurity and madness, all wrapped up in the domestic life of a housewife whose whole being has been shaped and molded by how she believes others view her. Feito works hard to make sure readers know that there is something amiss in this character's fragile mind.... The final pages are shocking... readers may find themselves tempted to return to the beginning in order to understand just what Feito has so convincingly managed to achieve within her accomplished debut.
      • premium: False
      • source: Sarah Ditum;The Guardian
      • content: Essential reading for the social media era.... [A] brilliant debut novel.... A brilliantly tense psychological study from a writer who keeps pace with the grandees she invokes – Du Maurier, for one.... It's also a fine addition to the current wave of feminist-inflected horror.... But what makes Mrs March most unsettling of all is that Feito's meticulous construction of a collapsing mental world is underpinned by piercing insight into "normal" minds. The chilly paranoia that Mrs March experiences, the belief that everyone is judging her as she is judging them, the appalling prospect that she is known not on her own terms, but as someone else has portrayed her – all these are the regular nightmares of the regular status-hungry person in the social media hall of mirrors.... Feito has done that most horrible, wonderful and truly novelistic of things: she has seen right through Mrs March and into the shameful, petty, maggotty secrets that everybody carries.
      • premium: False
      • source: Harrison Hill;Vogue
      • content: As literary as it is pulpy, Mrs. March straddles the line between psychological thriller and social satire — think HBO's The Undoing or The Talented Mr. Ripley. Like those blockbuster titles, Mrs. March portrays a rarefied world as hellish Grand Guignol. The pleasure of the book is in watching all that psychotic menace come out into the open, and in trying to figure how much of it is actually real. Mrs. March might think she sees a woman across the street drenched in blood—but what if she's simply had too much wine? She might believe the figures in a painting have turned their backs on her—but what if she's just crazy?.... Indeed, for all its gleeful nastiness, Mrs. March is very much a comedy of manners—one where every Vicuna scarf and monogrammed napkin signifies something greater than itself.
      • premium: False
      • source: Jessie Thompson;Evening Standard
      • content: Feito's noirish debut novel left me rapt, gleefully ambivalent about her eponymous protagonist: did I like her? Did I find her funny? Did I want to hug her? Was I bit a scared of her? Did I relate to her? To all of the above: yes.... This is an elegant, claustrophobic psychological thriller that bears the influence of a handful of brilliant writers, from Shirley Jackson to Daphne du Maurier to Patricia Highsmith, but feels incredibly original. The film is bound to be gorgeous – the Hitchcockian foreboding and stifling, velvety interiors feel made for the screen – but read the book first. Mrs March is the most beguiling protagonist I've encountered in a long time; I can't remember when I was last so excited about a new voice in fiction.
      • premium: False
      • source: Constance Grady;Vox
      • content: [A] vicious, gorgeous thriller.... A little bit Hitchcock, a little bit Patricia Highsmith, a little bit "The Yellow Wallpaper".... There's a relentless build to this book, a gnawing dread that sets in early and never quite lets up. And between Feito's silver-polish sentences and her eerie psychological acumen, you don't want it to.
      • premium: False
      • source: Scarlett Harris;Observer
      • content: Mrs. March is painfully aware of [genre] tropes and leans into them so far as to subvert them.... By initially setting up Mrs. March as a domestic thriller that comments on the relegation of women to the home and the elevation of men's careers and creative pursuits, the perfect foundation is...
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2021

        Upper East Side New Yorker Mrs. March is delighted with the success of her husband's latest novel--until a shopkeeper insinuates that the sketchy main character is based on Mrs. March herself. That sets the polished-to-perfection matron careening toward psychosis that may disclose both buried secrets and the identity of a killer. Optioned for film.

        Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2021
        Mrs. March, wearing fur and kidskin gloves, enters her favorite pastry shop in her classy Manhattan neighborhood as though stepping upon a stage, certain of everyone's admiration. After all, Mr. March is a very famous crime writer, and his new novel is being hailed as his best. But when the friendly shopkeeper observes that the book's pitiful protagonist resembles Mrs. March, a crack races through Mrs. March's inner world of distorting mirrors. As she makes her stunned way back to the luxurious March apartment, Feito locks the reader up inside the fracturing psyche of a woman of privilege who, through excruciatingly precise renderings of grotesque delusions, is revealed to be profoundly and perilously damaged. Feito masterfully orchestrates the bewildering horrors of Mrs. March's breakdown as she is assailed by memories of her loveless childhood and, playing sleuth, convinces herself that her husband is a rapist and a murderer. Each sharply realized and diabolical aspect of Mrs. March's life, hallucinations, and actions are spiked with chilling insights into the dark aspects of family, marriage, and wealth. Feito's bravura gothic thriller brilliantly exposes monstrous consequences of covert neglect and cruelty.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Feito's stylish and riveting psychological thriller of a woman on the edge has inspired a forthcoming film adaptation starring Elizabeth Moss.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        June 15, 2021
        In a horror-laced psychological drama, the wife of a bestselling New York novelist learns his latest protagonist is modeled on her. "But...isn't she...a whore?" whispers Mrs. March to the woman behind the counter at the patisserie she visits daily, who, like every other person in Manhattan, is reading, and loving, her husband's new book. Abandoning her purchases, she bolts from the store, never to return, and immediately confronts an advertisement featuring a woman smiling knowingly under the words "SHE HAD NO IDEA." Even the billboards know! This is just one of innumerable creepy details that speed Mrs. March's descent into a spiraling vortex of psychosis. Not that it's all in her head--copies of the book are everywhere, even in someone's cart at the grocery store. Debut novelist Feito sets her story in a hazy period in the pre-technology past and confines much of the action to her protagonist's claustrophobic Upper East Side apartment, where terrifying literati regularly convene for unbearable parties. Mrs. March's painfully low self-esteem drives the self-consciousness, paranoia, and jealousy that control her relationships with everyone from her housekeeper to her son to a family she runs into at the skating rink. The husband is there on a weekday? She thrills to speculate this means he's been laid off and concocts an elaborate lie to cover the real reason her own son is not in school. Mrs. March is the only character in the book who doesn't get a first name, even in a flashback to her childhood: "On tiptoes, Mrs. March cupped her hand and whispered into her mother's ear...'I have to go to the bathroom.' " While the poor woman never gets a break from the misery, Feito does offer the reader a few homeopathic drops of humor, such as when her protagonist learns that people will do just about anything you ask if you tell them you work for the New York Times. Feito is Spanish and lives in Madrid, but somehow she is the love child of Patricia Highsmith and Shirley Jackson. On her way to the screen played by Elisabeth Moss, Mrs. March is absolutely right--everyone is talking about her.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 28, 2021
        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.

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shortDescription

"I read Virginia's novel in one sitting and was so captured by it I knew I had to make it and play Mrs. March. As a character, she is fascinating, complex, and deeply human and I can't wait to sink my teeth into her." —Elisabeth Moss

A Jenny Lawson "Fantastic Strangeling Book Club" Selection
Oprah Daily • Best of the Month
USA Today • Books Not to Miss

Who is Mrs. March?

George March's latest novel is a smash. No one could be prouder than his dutiful wife, Mrs. March, who revels in his accolades. A careful creature of routine and decorum, she lives a precariously controlled existence on the Upper East Side until one morning, when the shopkeeper of her favorite patisserie suggests that her husband's latest protagonist—a detestable character named Johanna—is based on Mrs. March herself. Clutching her ostrich leather pocketbook and mint-colored gloves, she flees the...

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