The Barter: Book summary and reviews of The Barter by Siobhan Adcock

The Barter

by Siobhan Adcock

The Barter by Siobhan Adcock
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2014
    320 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

The Barter is a ghost story and a love story, a riveting emotional tale that also explores motherhood and work and feminism. Set in Texas, in present day, and at the turn of the twentieth 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? Readers 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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Suspensful ... Adcock builds tension with the ghost's periodic visitations, but the novel's real concern lies in the more mundane but no less weighty issue of how fear and self-doubt can corrode marriages and families. " - Publishers Weekly

"Eerie and atmospheric, this psychological thriller will twist its way into readers' psyches." - Booklist

"A tale of troubled souls far too easily resolved." - Kirkus

"The Barter is a delightful and utterly unique portrait of parenthood across the ages ... As funny, profound, otherworldly, and terrifying as love itself, this is a debut novel not to be missed." - Amy Shearn, author of The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far is the Ocean From Here 

"Absolutely outstanding. The Barter is a ghost story haunted by love, a love story haunted by ghosts, and a literary mystery propelled by the unsaid secrets of marriage and motherhood." - Patrick Somerville, author of This Bright River and The Cradle

"Reading The Barter is like standing at the edge of an abyss: deep, dark, and terrifying, it is also a gripping and exhilarating story about fear, courage, and the demands and sacrifices of love." – Catherine Chung, author of Forgotten Country

"Part comedy of manners, part historical fiction, and part genuinely creepy page-turner, The Barter casts a lively eye on the sacrifices, willing and involuntary, women make as they endeavor to weave together the heart's various desires." - Leah Hager Cohen, author of No Book But the World

"Siobhan Adcock's impressive debut is a spellbinding blend of historical fiction and ghost story, made all the more believable - and harrowing - by its realistic depiction of the tenuous balance between fulfillment and sacrifice within a marriage." - Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Lincoln's Rival

The information about The Barter shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Siobhan Adcock received her MFA in fiction from Cornell University, and her short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines. She has worked as a writer and editor for Epicurious, Gourmet.com, iVillage.com, and The Knowm among other digital publishers. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

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