Sure to be one of the most talked-about debut novels of the year, The Barter is a heart-stopping tale as provocative as it is suspenseful, about two conflicted women, separated by 100 years and bound by an unthinkable sacrifice.
The Barter is a ghost story and a love story, a riveting emotional tale that also explores motherhood and work and feminism. Set in present-day Texas, and at the turn of the 20th century, the novel follows two young mothers at the turning point of their lives.
Bridget has given up her career as an attorney to raise her daughter, joining a cadre of stay-at-home mothers seeking fulfillment in a quiet suburb. But for Bridget, some crucial part of the exchange is absent: something she loves and needs. And now a terrifying presence has entered her home - only nobody but Bridget can feel it.
On a farm in 1902, a young city bride takes a farmer husband. The marriage bed will become both crucible and anvil as Rebecca first allows, then negates, the powerful erotic connection between them. She turns her back on John to give all her love to their child. Much will occur in this cold house, none of it good.
As Siobhan Adcock crosscuts these stories with mounting tension, each woman arrives at a terrible ordeal of her own making, tinged with love and fear and dread. What will they sacrifice to save their families - and themselves? Listeners will slow down to enjoy the gorgeous language then speed up to see what happens next in a plot that thrums with the weight of decision - and its explosive consequences.
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What is the point?
Missed it by this much
Probably not. I hated the ending.
When the father dies
When Bridgette first sees the ghost
Pull my hair out
The book was fascinating until the end. I still don't know what happened.
- Catherine Jennings