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From the acclaimed author of The End We Start From, The Harpy is a fierce tale of love, betrayal and revenge.
'The Harpy is brilliant . . . A deeply unsettling, excellent read.' Daisy Johnson
Lucy and Jake live in a house by a field where the sun burns like a ball of fire. Lucy works from home but devotes her life to the children, to their finely tuned routine, and to the house itself, which comforts her like an old, sly friend. But then a man calls one afternoon with a shattering message: his wife has been having an affair with Lucy’s husband, he wants her to know.
The revelation marks a turning point: Lucy and Jake decide to stay together, but in a special arrangement designed to even the score and save their marriage, she will hurt him three times. Jake will not know when the hurt is coming, nor what form it will take.
As the couple submit to a delicate game of crime and punishment, Lucy herself begins to change, surrendering to a transformation of both mind and body from which there is no return.
Told in dazzling, musical prose, The Harpy by Megan Hunter is a dark, staggering fairy tale, at once mythical and otherworldly and fiercely contemporary. It is a novel of love, marriage and its failures, of power and revenge, of metamorphosis and renewal.
‘The Harpy is an almost perfect book. The premise is so simple, and the execution so flawless. It feels like a fairy tale not only because of its aura of mystery and the purity of its structure, but because the story itself is so fundamental you could imagine it being told and re-told in a thousand different forms. In a way, the book feels more discovered than crafted, like the manuscript ought to have been found locked in a trunk in an attic somewhere, or translated off an old rock slab. I've talked about it more than anything else I've read so far this year.’ Kristen Roupenian
‘In The Harpy, a confession of a woman who refuses to inhabit the world under false pretenses, Megan Hunter effortlessly compels us to feel both heartbreak and the momentary gratification of revenge. It is a book about love and betrayal — that between husband and wife, and parent and child — and it is devastating in its evocation of the expense and sometimes fatal strain of passion, grief, and rage.’ Susanna Moore
‘In The Harpy, Hunter has articulated female rage in a way that lives on in your bones and in your gut. A genuinely thrilling read, one long beautiful scream.’ Evie Wyld
‘Brilliant. Hunter imbues the everyday with apocalyptic unease. A deeply unsettling, excellent read.’ Daisy Johnson
‘In hungry, restless prose, Megan Hunter tears apart the seam between motherhood and the monstrous. She confronts the fear of female anger and asks us what happens when pain that has been swallowed through generations begins to rush to the surface.’
‘Both timeless and timely, The Harpy is a taut and lyrical novel about cosily calibrated lives coming spectacularly undone. Compulsively absorbing yet otherworldly, both a fever dream and a gorgeous and alarming howl of rage. Megan Hunter is a distinctive force of talent who portrays scenes of marriage, young parenthood, and mutable womanhood in fierce and fresh ways.’ Sharlene Teo
‘It’s utterly compelling and I read it without pause. So precise and darkly truthful. I thought it succeeded in illuminating - with flair and originality - the damage done by betrayal.’ Esther Freud
‘A beautifully written, viscerally disturbing novel that turns the narrative of the cheated-on wife on its head.’ Laura Kaye
‘Sentence after sentence made my skin bump. Not just with what the sentence said, but because the writing was so very, very good.’ Cynan Jones