Cover Image: Mrs March

Mrs March

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Member Reviews

This is a book which has divided critics and I can see why.  It wants to be very clever and cutting but at times the writing is very one-dimensional and there are   no characters I felt empathy for.  It's not a complete write-off but I feel it is trying to be more than it is
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Mrs March is the sort of 'woman unravelling under pressure' novel that reminds me of Charlotte Perkins Gilmore's book 'The Yellow Wallpaper'. We're stuck in an uncomfortable place of not knowing what's real and what's hallucination as Mrs M falls apart, sucked into paranoid delusions and complex conspiracy theories.

It's a hard novel to place in time. There's the odd reference to a Rubik's cube, the use of vinyl records and an inordinate amount of people wearing furs that would put this around the mid 1970s, although Mrs M herself seems very much of an earlier era. It's a bit like reading a demented Mrs Maisel - she lives in a beautiful New York apartment with a maid/housekeeper and has grown up always having staff.

I made a fatal error about 5% into this book. I was cleaning my teeth and reading my kindle and a splash of water fell onto the screen and (without me realising) took me to very near the end. So I knew much too early what was going to happen. I'd like to think I'd have worked it out myself.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my copy.
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Mrs March
An intensely nerve-jangling read.
Mrs March, second wife of George March, a successful novelist, enjoys her exclusive 5th Avenue lifestyle.
Despite hints at a troubled childhood, she excels as a model wife and hostess, making sure that everything is just so.
Until an off-hand remark by the server in her local patisserie sends Mrs March into a spiral of paranoia and self-doubt. Is Johanna, the unloved and unloveable prostitute from Mr March’s latest literary success, really based on his wife?
Mrs March’s rapid descent into some kind of psychotic episode is quite horrifying to bear witness to. And the chilling outcome is bleak and abrupt. 
It felt quite powerful that we only learn her first name in the last sentence of the book.
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Mrs March is a character study in how to feel like you are inside a persons head and feeling and seeing all their thoughts.
A fantastic, imaginative and interesting read.
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A very thought provoking and mesmerising read. I felt like I was reading Patricia Highsmith at the start. Then it gathered it’s own unique originalit with hints of a classic about it. . But this is definitely well written and a new talent.
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Mrs. March (we don't learn her first name until the last line of the book) is married to a popular author, George March. When she learns that he may have based the main character of his new book on her, she is horrified. The character of Johanna is someone she would rather not be associated with, and she is convinced that George is determined to make a fool of her. 

As she unravels slowly, she begins to become paranoid and anxious, wondering if George is hiding something else - why does he have a newspaper cutting about a local murder? 

This is gripping, and the setting is really cinematic. I'm not actually even sure of what time period it's set in, but it comes across very Hitchcock-ian, and reminded me of some of Ira Levin's work. The glossy exterior with barely concealed rot underneath has always been a favourite of mine, so this was enjoyable, even if some of Mrs. March's delusions were difficult to read about. 

I do feel like the mystery element was oversold, but it's one I won't forget.
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I struggled with this book. I can see what the writer was trying to do. But for me, it didn't really work.
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Mrs March is the wife of a well-respected novelist, living a routine, tightly-regulated life, until the release of her husbands latest novel. Centred around the story of a sex worker, who is more to be pitied than desired, Mrs March starts to suspect that her husband has based many aspects of the character on herself, and this, along with some other suspicions, start to lead to the tightly grasped threads of her life slowly starting to unravel.

I thought this was an interesting story and was told well. Mrs march’s slow descent into paranoia and suspicion is well detailed and believable, and pulls the story along. 

I felt that some of the back story could have been introduced more, there were aspects of her past that were alluded to, but not detailed enough to really give proper additional insight into the character, but this wasn’t a massive problem, there was definitely a strong story being told regardless of this. It’s quite a dark story, but I thought it was well written and would look for more from this author. 

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Rich New York housewife Mrs March is married to a celebrated author whose latest novel - a sex worker -has been another huge hit.  Neighbours start to think the novel is based on Mrs March herself, leading to lots of upset and misunderstanding as Mrs March seeks to work out who she is. An interesting read though possibly over-hyped by some people. I enjoyed but didnt love it.
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I love an unreliable narrator novel, and this didn't disappoint. If you're after a fast-paced psychological thriller, this isn't it and I think that's what some of the negative reviews are about. Instead, it's a wonderful character study and explores themes of relationships (marriage and motherhood) and wealth, as well as loneliness, paranoia, mental health and status. It's a slow burner in terms of the action, but I didn't feel it was lacking at all. I enjoyed the whole thing from start to finish.
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This was an interestingly set up story of one woman's paranoia and mental health deterioration. However, for me it felt like it was all set up and fell flat by the end. It's like the story didn't quite know where it was going.

There's also some very difficult to read scenes, and I'm not sure I was entirely comfortable with how themes of mental health were used through the novel.
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I always struggle to write 5-star reviews for books I loved. When a book has things that annoy me -if it’s predictable, badly paced or too long, for example, I’m able to find pages and pages of things to say. I get the notes app out on my phone and write comments as I go along, often rolling my eyes as I do so. When I love a book however, I just want to yell ‘read this book’ and leave it at that. When I fully enjoy a book I don’t take notes as I read - I’m just fully invested and happy to have read it and it makes writing the reviews for them very hard!

Mrs March is one such book that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. It’s a slow-burn character study in a woman getting more unhinged as it goes along. At the beginning it seems like Mrs March (she is referred to with this moniker only – as her entire identity revolves around her husband) has the perfect life – a loving and successful husband, a beautiful house and lots of money. However, a few words from strangers about her husband’s new book is enough to start her slip into mental health issues. The book is set in an era where a woman was expected to be quiet and well-groomed, tending to their husband’s every whim and being a key support figure for their success. This stifling societal expectation adds onto the pressure that Mrs March feels throughout and how she is expected to look and act in public.

The book is really nicely paced, with enough happening to keep your interest but a definite build in events. Mrs March is also a very unreliable narrator, and you have to keep reminding yourself of this when an external character says or does something that seems to come out of nowhere.

The writing style is beautiful and its amazing to think that this is a debut book. I’ll certainly be looking out for more books written by Virginia Feito in future. I can see from the blurb that Elizabeth Moss is looking to make a screen adaptation of it – I’m not sure how well it was translate across as so much is in the character’s head and part of its pleasure is from the choice of words and flow of the prose.

Overall, Mrs March is my final KINDIG GEM of 2021, a gripping and disturbing read that kept me hooked from the first page. Thank you to NetGalley, 4th Estate & William Collins for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I have really mixed feelings about this book.
On the one hand I enjoyed it and parts had me laughing out loud at the things Mrs March would say or do.
But on the other hand I found the second half of it to be far less interesting as the first.
I was hooked into the story straight away but the more I read the more bored I got and by the end was just glad to have finished it.
This a character study of Mrs March as she descends into madness and paranoia and feels like a literary story that never really goes anywhere.
It felt drawn out and might have been better as a novella for me.
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I didn’t enjoy this book, and despite the hallucinatory moments and the descriptions of Mrs March’s loss of her grip on reality, I found the writing really pedestrian. It didn’t have the thrilling aspects of Ottessa Moshfeg, Shirley Jackson or Patricia Highsmith’s writing (all of whom this writer has been compared to). We get glimpses of Mrs March’s financially privileged yet emotionally starved upbringing that almost bring some humanity to the story, but mostly, I felt little for her.
I kept thinking that in the hands of a good actress and filmmaker, the story could really work with some heart and empathy injected into the story and the central character. I have since read that Elizabeth Moss will be starring in an adaptation, so that will be interesting! I also felt that there was some real hatred towards women’s bodies that aren’t young and slim. (Sagging breasts are mentioned countless times to the point of tedium). I looked up Virginia Feito upon finishing and it was no surprise that she is young and very slim. I felt this book was striving to be a black comedy (which I believe could come across on screen), but this novel wasn’t funny. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing the film adaptation.
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Why has this not been shortlisted for any literary awards!?

Moshfegh meets Hitchcock in this dark, funny, literary thriller . I loved this book and simply cannot wait for the screen adaptation .
It's a dark exploration of someone's mind and we follow Mrs March on a journey of paranoia and a descent into madness and hysteria. . It's one of those books where you don't really know where the story is going and I can see why it isn't for everyone . I loved the writing style and wry description of New York society, although i am still left wondering what decade we were in , the book reads like 1950s NY yet we have references to the modern day. The tension builds slowly throughout and peaks at the end  and will leave you thinking what was that !

A great read
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3.5 stars 
A clever look at the human frailties of insecurity and the need for identity. Mrs March looks at society’s pressures and ramps this up to a powerful and raw state. It’s hard sometimes to know what is fiction and what is real for Mrs March as we follow her through her anxieties and delusions.
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A really powerful portrayal of one woman's unravelling mind. Mrs March is married to George, a successful novelist. A throwaway comment about the main character of his book being inspired by her, triggers a reaction that sees her become increasingly paranoid and anxious.

She experiences delusions, and begins to believe her husband is an imposter, or a murderer.

I think this book may well divide opinion. It was complex and dark, but with the only voice we hear being that of Mrs March, it was very intense and I would perhaps have liked to have heard from George as he observes his wife become more and more unwell.

Well written and thought provoking this is a brilliant read and quite unlike anything I've read before.
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I requested this book because of all the hype surrounding it unfortunately it was not for me at all. It was beautifully written with both dark and funny elements throughout. I did not like the main protagonist however it left me wanting and expecting more.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for giving me this arc in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I can see why more academic readers are raving about the book. There are a lot of layers and, if you have the time, much to deconstruct and analyse. I'm an avid reader but I read for entertainment and while I appreciate the emotional complexity and character creation, the book was too slow for me and I kept waiting for the story arc. 

The selfish, shallow, self-absorbed, narrow-minded narcissistic Mrs. March lives a privileged sheltered life married to a well known author, until she finds out that the controversial, unlikable main character in his new novel is inspired by her. This discovery leads to paranoia and an emotional tailspin. 

Mrs March is both unlikable and entirely fascinating. She has complex or maybe non-existent relationships with those closest to her - her mother, sister, husband and son - which nobody seems to challenge. The book captures her beautifully. I can appreciate the quality of writing and thought involved in creating Mrs. March but not a story Id be jumping to read again.
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Although the premise seemed promising, Feito's "Mrs March" did not meet my expectations; the writing was gripping, the main character, sadly, not.
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