Thursday, June 7, 2012
An Unexpected Guest
The novel's main character, American Clare Moorhouse, is wife to a British diplomat living in Paris. The novel beings as her day does: planning a dinner party critical to her husband's political career. Literary readers may harken on Mrs. Dalloway, as Clare goes to great lengths to perfect all party details (she even buys the flowers herself). And like Mrs. Dalloway, the novel turns from the surface, inward, as Clare's fears and insecurities from one particular, life-changing event begins to haunt her as she considers the implications of her past behavior on her husband's political future.
Unlike Mrs. Dalloway, however, Clare's world is contemporary; and her domestic realm includes dealing with her youngest wayward son, who becomes a force equally capable of destroying his father's career. In many ways, the novel acts equally as domestic fiction and political thriller. Engaging and well-written.