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A much talked about novel of female alienation, US poet Essbaum's is a curious blend of Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina brought into the modern post-feminist age. Married to Bruno, a stolid Swiss banker, American middle-aged wife Anna Benz is stranded in middle class Switzerland, feeling trapped in her marriage, with three children towards whom she is highly ambivalent about, her German language skills imperfect, isolated in a spider web of trains running on time, mountain peaks, her own secrets and the depressingly clean Zurich suburbia. A curiously passive character she almost accidentally falls into an affair, then another, finding sex a momentary relief from her assigned role in society. Inevitably, between language classes, few close friends and psychotherapy sessions, her life begins to unwind. Even the eroticism of her liaisons, albeit reasonably explicit, has a bland Swiss monotony until tragedy strikes and engufls her. A book that could both fascinate and annoy you. Make your mind up. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
The Good Book Guide Review. The Mantle imprint has long been a guarantee of the best in crime fiction, with its celebrated editor Maria Rejt having the sharpest eye in the business for provocative new talent. Her skills have not deserted her, as Jill Alexander Essbaum turns out to be a really intriguing writer. The narrative of Hausfrau involves Anne Benz, outwardly living a comfortable life in an upscale area of Zürich. However Anne, an American expat, is in a state of turmoil, alienated from her husband and his family and seeking escape in a variety of ill-advised sexual dalliances. Inevitably, her life begins to spiral out of control, and the results (as described by Essbaum) are grimly mesmerising. Apart from the storytelling grip exerted here, the author’s use of language is absolutely apposite; this is a strikingly well-written novel.
~ Barry Forshaw
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
Haunting and elegant, Hausfrau is the exceptional debut novel from the prize-winning American poet, Jill Alexander Essbaum. Anna was a good wife, mostly ...Anna Benz, an American in her late-thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno - a banker - and their three young children, in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zurich. Though she leads a comfortable life, she is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with Bruno, or even her own feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises her. But she soon finds that she can't easily extract herself from these relationships. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back ...
About the Author
Publication date7th April 2016
AuthorJill Alexander Essbaum
More books by Jill Alexander Essbaum
Author 'Like for Like'
PublisherPicador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Interest Age: From 18
CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
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