The Harpy: A Novel
Lucy’s isolated life as a mother of two young children is just this side of bearable–but it derails entirely one day when she gets a phone call telling her that her husband, Jake, has been having an affair with his co-worker. Lucy is devastated, angry, and horrified at the idea that she’s sacrificed her very self–including an unfinished Ph.D.–to a home life that wasn’t all it seemed. Jack proposes a solution: Lucy can hurt him three times. After that, they’ll move on with their marriage and their lives. This is meant to right the wrong of Jake’s affair and convince Lucy that Jake is sincere about the affair being over for good. But as Lucy gets deeper into her acts of revenge, the goal blurs, and what began as only Jake’s transgression becomes a damning referendum on Lucy as well.
Through it all, Lucy’s lifelong fixation on the figure of the harpy intensifies. Half bird, half woman, the harpies are incurably rageful toward men, becoming infinitely uglier in their anger. Lucy both identifies with and rejects the harpy, but her grip on reality slips just enough so that she embodies what she’s always feared most: generational abuse and hurt, as impossible to forget as it is to avoid. Who, then, is the woman, and who is the harpy? And how far will Lucy allow herself to go with her plan for revenge? The Harpy defies adequate summary and is an unforgettable read.
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