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Mrs Osmond by John Banville

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The Booker Prizewinning author of The Sea offers up another intelligent, beautifully written novel this time with a Victorian setting. The story flows along elegantly with each chapter a vignette. Nothing is over-explained, the descriptions are evocative and the thoughts of the characters well expressed. It is a stunning read from one of our finest novelists who also writes 1950s detective stories under the name of Benjamin Black (great reads!). Here he has a wealthy lady, Isabel Osmond, is a failed marriage from which she wishes to “purchase my emancipation – to suffrage if you like.” …. But this is in the Victorian era … However the suffragette movement and some independence for women is erupting. Isabel discovers her husband has deceived her for year and extracts a subtle revenge. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like John Banville you might also like to read books by Simon Mawer, Dermot Bolger and Barry Unsworth.


Mrs Osmond by John Banville

Having fled Rome and a stultifying marriage, Isabel Osmond is in London, brooding on the recent disclosure of her husband's shocking, years-long betrayal of her. What should she do now, and which way should she turn, in the emotional labyrinth where she has been trapped for so long?

Reawakened by grief and the knowledge of having been grievously wronged, she determines to resume her youthful quest for freedom and independence. Soon Isabel must return to Italy and confront her husband, and seek to break his powerful hold on her. But will she succeed in outwitting him, and securing her revenge?

Mrs Osmond is a masterly novel of betrayal, corruption and moral ambiguity, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea.


Banville is one of the writers I admire the most - few people can create an image as beautifully or precisely -- Hanya Yanagihara, author of the Booker-shortlisted A Little Life

This engrossing and often beautiful novel is a true work of art that rewards careful reading Daily Telegraph on 'Blue Guitar'

The Booker prize winning author - widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in English today - has produced what many already consider a literary masterpiece Sunday Independent on 'Ancient Light'

About the Author

John Banville

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His first book, Long Lankin, was published in 1970. His other books are Nightspawn, Birchwood, Doctor Copernicus (which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1976), Kepler (which was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1981), The Newton Letter (which was filmed for Channel 4), Mefisto, The Book of Evidence (shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize and winner of the 1998 Guinness Peat Aviation Award), Ghosts, Athena, The Untouchable, Eclipse and Shroud. He has received a literary award from the Lannan Foundation. He lives in Dublin.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th October 2017


John Banville

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Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd


384 pages


Literary Fiction
Historical Fiction
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Historical fiction



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