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Strange Fits Of Passion
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Reissue - with a stunning new cover - of Anita Shreve's outstanding second novel - 'a superbly crafted, intelligent exploration of the complications of an abusive relationship' BOOKLIST

About the Author

Formerly a journalist (Newsweek, US magazine) and non-fiction writer, Anita Shreve's first novel EDEN CLOSE, published in 1990, introduced a distinctively individual voice to literary fiction.

Reviews

As she did in her first novel, Eden Close , Shreve opens this absorbing story with oblique hints of a violent event--here a murder committed by a woman in response to domestic abuse--then segues to flashbacks that slowly reveal the circumstances leading up to it. A reporter who wrote a book about the crime shares her notes, presented in alternating versions and voices. Most affecting is the voice of the accused woman, who flees Manhattan with her six-month-old daughter to seek sanctuary in a coastal Maine village where she is protected by the clannish but sympathetic townspeople. She finds temporary solace in an affair with a sensitive lobsterman, but is betrayed to her husband by another man out of jealousy. Shreve is particularly effective in evoking the landscape and atmosphere of a close-knit community and the authentic vernacular of its nicely differentiated inhabitants. Her elegiac, portentous prose provides effective pacing. The novel's main drawback, however, lies in its predictability, and in the lack of credibility for the heroine's violent act, faults Shreve somewhat overcomes by raising the question of journalistic integrity (did the reporter alter her notes?) and the possibility that the accused woman's account might have contained deliberate falsehoods. In spite of its superficialities, however, the novel is often insightful and moving. (Apr.)

'Superbly rendered ... touching and troubling ... a subtle and searing book' COSMOPOLITAN; 'Shreve is prolific, polished, unputdownable. Above all, she delivers serious topics with a readable touch' GUARDIAN; 'Anita Shreve's chilling, highly plausible novel moved me to tears and raised my awareness of the shame, agony and isolation endured by women married to violent men' Val Hennessy, DAILY MAIL; 'A powerful and original fiction voice' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

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