The Mare

by Mary Gaitskill

eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

The Mare Synopsis

Ginger is in her forties and a recovering alcoholic when she meets and marries Paul. When it becomes clear it's too late for her to have a baby of her own, she tries to persuade him to consider adoption, but he already has a child from a previous marriage and is ten years older than her, so doesn't share her longing to be a parent at any cost. As a compromise, they sign up to an organisation that sends poor inner-city kids to stay with country families for a few weeks in the summer, and so one hot July day eleven year old Velveteen Vargas, a Dominican girl from one of Brooklyn's toughest neighbourhoods, arrives in their lives, and Ginger is instantly besotted. Bemused by her gentle middle-aged hosts, but deeply intuitive in the way of clever children, Velvet quickly senses the longing behind Ginger's rapturous attention. While Velvet returns her affection, she finds the intensity of it bewildering. Velvet's own passions are more excited by the stables nearby, where she discovers she has a natural talent for riding and a deep affinity with the damaged horses cared for there. But when Ginger begins to entertain fantasies of adopting her, things start to get complicated for everyone involved.

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The Mare Press Reviews

'Gaitskill's work feels more real than real life and reading her leads to a place that feels like a sacred space.' Boston Globe

'Velvet is that most wonderful of fictional creations: a convincing child who manages to be a captivating and perceptive narrator.' New Yorker

'Gaitskill's novel is not a children's book, but it is a book about what children long for, and how we long for the same thing many years after we've left childhood behind' The New York Times

'Visceral and haunting, and the telling, with its shifting first person narrative, is nothing short of masterful.' GQ

'A poignant, beautiful coming of age story about race, class and motherhood.' Women and Home

'A thoroughly compelling read ... redemptive and moving, The Mare offers as much fresh air for the author (and the reader) as it does for her characters.' Spectator

'Penetrating ... confronts, head-on, white privilege and black victimhood.' Daily Mail

'A timely examination of the pains and pleasures that follow one woman's attempt to bridge the yawning gap of understanding between two races.' Sunday Express

'Emotionally complex voices crafted with skill and sensitivity.' Mail on Sunday

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781781255940
Publication date: 20/04/2017
Publisher:
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781781255933
Publication date: 21/07/2016
Publisher: Serpent's Tail an imprint of Profile Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781255940
Publication date: 20th April 2017
Author: Mary Gaitskill
Publisher:
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 448 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Mary Gaitskill

Mary Gaitskill is the author of the story collections Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To, and Don't Cry, and the novels Veronica and Two Girls Fat and Thin. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories, and the O. Henry Prize Stories.

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