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Book of V. Paperback – June 1, 2021
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An NPR Book Concierge Pick * A Real Simple Best Book of 2020 (So Far) * A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2020
“The engrossing, highly readable, darkly sexy third novel by Anna Solomon…The Book of V. is a meditation on female power and powerlessness, the stories told about women and the ones we tell about and to ourselves.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“An absorbing story about desire, power imbalances and the quest for self-determination―a feminist rallying cry born in the private spaces of women’s lives.” ―People Magazine, *Book of the Week*
"The Book of V. is brainy and sexy and roots us so completely in these three women’s bodies and lives, that I couldn’t put it down. The writing is so brilliant some passages took my breath away, and when I thought I knew where the novel was headed, I was wrong. This novel is a gift, and I highly recommend you read it." ―Ann Napolitano, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Edward
"Irresistible, sexy and intelligent…The Book of V. radiates a dynamism that invites rereads and generously keeps giving―challenging and arousing us as it delights." ―The Washington Post
“Compulsively readable . . . blending real history and radical fiction into one enthralling whole." ―Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten Books of 2020 So Far
“The Book of V. is a marvel. It’s a testament to the enduring strength and flexibility of the novel form itself, and a testament to the wisdom, clarity, and boldness of Anna Solomon. She is a remarkable writer who has written an extraordinary book." ―Jane Hamilton, author of The Excellent Lombards
“[An] engrossing story… Even if you think you don't like historical fiction, you'll eat this one up.” ―Good Housekeeping
“Solomon connects these stories in a way that’s fresh and tantalizing, with fascinating intergenerational discussions about desire, duty, family, and feminism, as well as a surprising, completely believable twist. This frank, revisionist romp through a Bible tale is a winner.” ―Publishers Weekly, *starred review*
“In The Book of V., Anna Solomon reaches across centuries to capture the timeliness and timelessness of being a strong, passionate woman in a world governed by men. How far we've come and yet how many of the battles look the same. I was riveted by this searingly inventive, humane, and honest page-turner of a novel." ―Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes
“Thought-provoking fiction… The Book of V. asks complicated questions about power, desire, and the evolution of women’s roles.” ―Real Simple
“Moving, surprising, so touchingly detailed and authentic as to seem more real than life...For a novel to offer such delightfully realized characters as well as such taut pacing is a fine accomplishment." ―Shelf Awareness
"Anna Solomon’s The Book of V. is a novel as fierce as its heroines, traversing centuries to explore the tentacles of desire and despair that can anchor the psyche or explode it. It’s a book that understands how many different women live in every woman: the lover, the mother, the artist, the rebel, the friend, the caregiver, the beast, the survivor. Solomon’s imagination is as thrilling as it is nuanced―gripping the senses and the heart at once, telling a story that vibrates with urgency and truth." ―Leslie Jamison, New York Times bestselling author of Make it Scream, Make it Burn and The Empathy Exams
“Finely written and often vividly imagined…A bold, fertile work lit by powerful images.” ―Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*
“[An] evocative novel…each story line is captivating.” ―Booklist
“Solomon masterfully interweaves the stories of three women… [she] reminds us that women are not archetypes, not just good or evil…Indeed, Lily gives voice to the lesson that she has learned: ‘The type of woman you imagine yourself becoming does not exist.’” ―Hadassah Magazine
About the Author
- Publisher : Picador Paper (June 1, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250798442
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250798442
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.48 x 0.8 x 8.27 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #117,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Esther's story was compelling from the beginning but the twists on the biblical story, the character of Marduk and his motivations, the situation of the community, the reality of the palace and the King's position were amazing. And then there was the wonderful and unexpected magical realism.
The way the stories are brought together and the hopefulness at the end made Book of V an exceptional reading experience. Have recommended it to many, bought it for several and will reread, more than once.
The three stories:
• Lily: It's 2016, and Lily and Adam and their daughters Rosie and June live in a New York City rental apartment. Lily is 46. She has given up her dreams of becoming a writer to be a stay-at-home mom, but she is horribly conflicted about it. Her inner turmoil only becomes more tumultuous when she develops a crush on a friend's husband.
• Vee: It's the early 1970s in Washington, D.C. Vee is married to Alex, a U.S. senator from Rhode Island. Alex enjoys rough sex, but nothing prepares Vee for the shocking and shameful request Alex makes of her during a party they host—and her response changes absolutely everything in her life.
• Esther: It's about 475 years before the birth of Christ, and Esther, a poor Hebrew living in tents in Persia, is chosen from dozens of women to replace the banished queen Vashti. While the story of how Esther saved her people is well known, the author sketches out a stunningly imaginative backstory that weaves a uniting thread through the stories of Lily, Vee, and Esther.
This is a fierce and smart book. The characters are vividly drawn, the multilayered plot is riveting, and the underlying message about the power of women in a world where they are dominated by men is provocative and profound.