The Vixen: A Novel

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“The historical, the fantastic, and the world of 1950s publishing walk into a bar” could well be the setup to Francine’s Prose’s latest novel The Vixen.

Simon Putnam, young, good looking and aimless, is fresh from Harvard and ready to tackle the world when he is asked to edit a salacious novel based on that always sext topic) the trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. The job is too big for Simon and comes with several pitfalls—his mother’s childhood friendship with Ethel, his own infatuation with the book’s author, his bumbling social ineptitude. The dialogue is quick and the women are written with a range and vibrancy that nearly jumps off the page. But the true trial in reading the book is getting past the horrible people who populate it—it is very hard to like any of them, though Simon’s naivete could be endearing in the right light.

The latter part of the novel becomes over the top in a way that will certainly put off some readers, but there is a fun ridiculousness to be found in the thriller turn it takes. Gorgeously told through period detail, there are reasons to love The Vixen, but they are few and far between.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Harper
Publish Date 29-Jun-2021
ISBN 9780063012141 Buy this Book
Issue November 2021
Category Historical Fiction