The Harpy (Hardback)Megan Hunter (author)
- We can order this from the publisher
Drenched in disquiet and unease, Hunter’s lyrical dissection of a brutally compromised relationship poses fundamental questions about love and revenge.
From the acclaimed author of The End We Start From, The Harpy is a fierce tale of love, betrayal and revenge.
Lucy and Jake live in a house by a field where the sun burns like a ball of fire. Lucy works from home but devotes 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, he wants her to know.
The revelation marks a turning point: Lucy and Jake decide to stay together, but in a special arrangement designed to even the score and save their marriage, she will hurt him three times. Jake will not know when the hurt is coming, nor what form it will take.
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 by Megan Hunter 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 and revenge, of metamorphosis and renewal.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 320 g
Dimensions: 223 x 144 x 27 mm
'The Harpy is brilliant. Hunter imbues the everyday with apocalyptic unease. A deeply unsettling, excellent read.' - Daisy Johnson, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Everything Under
'In The Harpy, Hunter has articulated female rage in a way that lives on in your bones and in your gut. A genuinely thrilling read, one long beautiful scream.' - Evie Wyld
'The Harpy is an almost perfect book. The premise is so simple, and the execution so flawless . . . I've talked about it more than anything else I've read so far this year: I love explaining the set-up to friends and watching their eyes widen. It's so dark and so much fun.' - Kristen Roupenian, author of Cat Person
'Sentence after sentence made my skin bump. Not just with what the sentence said, but because the writing was so very, very good. It's a brilliant piece of work.' - Cynan Jones, author of Cove
'Utterly compelling . . . so precise and darkly truthful. I thought it succeeding in illuminating - with flair and originality - the damage done by betrayal.' - Esther Freud
'I was utterly spellbound. Her dark humour and pointillist prose puts her in league with Lydia Davis and Jenny Offil, masterfully rendering the emotional shock of a protagonist finding her life has become story.' - Olivia Sudjic, author of Sympathy
'A sharp, timely and darkly funny novel about maternal love and sacrifice, and the incandescent rage that festers beneath it. Hunter's writing is beautiful and spare, uncanny and hilarious. I utterly loved it.' - Luiza Sauma, author of Flesh and Bone and Water
'A beautifully written, viscerally disturbing novel that turns the narrative of the cheated-on wife on its head' - Laura Kaye, author of English Animals
'The Harpy is a taut and lyrical novel about cosily calibrated lives coming spectacularly undone. Compulsively absorbing yet otherworldly, both a fever dream and a gorgeous and alarming howl of rage.' - Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti
'In hungry, restless prose, Megan Hunter tears apart the seam between motherhood and the monstrous. She confronts the fear of female anger and asks us what happens when pain that has been swallowed through generations begins to rush to the surface.' - Jessica Andrews, author of Saltwater
'Megan Hunter effortlessly compels us to feel both heartbreak and the momentary gratification of revenge . . . devastating in its evocation of the expense and sometimes fatal strain of passion, grief, and rage.' - Susanna Moore, author of In the Cut
'I was moved, terrified, uplifted - sometimes all three at once' - Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring on The End We Start From
'Engrossing, compelling' - Naomi Alderman, author of The Power on The End We Start From
'Startling . . . beautiful and insightful. Everyone who reads this will come away feeling renewed' - Elle Magazine on The End We Start From
'Hunter's spare, drumskin-tight prose zings off the page, and ingenious descriptions abound . . . It may only consist of 127 pages of impressionistic, staccato sentences, but this is a book of wide horizons and big ideas, and it's no surprise that Benedict Cumberbatch's company have just acquired movie rights. For Hunter the future looks very bright indeed' - Scotland on Sunday on The End We Start From
'Powerful . . . an uplifting celebration of the reality of motherhood in the face of terrifying global disaster' - Daily Mail on The End We Start From
'The End We Start From is a beautifully spare, haunting meditation on the persistence of life after catastrophe. I loved it' - Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven on The End We Start From
'Extraordinary . . . The End We Start From is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, in that it shares the same narrative detachment, and the same precise poetry. It is of course told from the perspective of a mother, rather than a father, and is set in a world that is only beginning to fall into chaos. And in the midst of it all, each parent cradles their child, enchanted by their breathing. "Sometimes he sleeps so quietly it seems that he has gone." Megan Hunter's remarkable debut novel feels like the other half of the story' - Financial Times on The End We Start From
You may also be interested in...
“Beautifully Crafted Small Wonder”
Is this a novel explicitly about a youg mother chronicling the breakdown of her marriage after her husband's infidelity and her subsequent mental breakdown, or is there something hidden, more sinister, hiding in... More
“A story of a marriage, an affair and one of kind of revenge....”
Lucy married with children, puts her career on hold to become a mother and a wife. When she finds out that her husband is having an affair, it rips marriage and her mental well being apart. She turns into a tornado of... More
“Brilliantly observed and powerful”
For a slim novel The Harpy manages to achieve such a lot. Hunter does something genuinely interesting with the story of a woman scorned, interweaving the completely believable marriage of Lucy and Jake with snippets... More
Please sign in to write a review
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?
Or, add to basket, pay online, collect in as little as 2 hours, subject to availability.