written by Siobhan Adcock
published by Dutton (The Penguin Group)
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: I loved the back and forth. I loved reading about how much (and how little) changes for wives and mothers after a hundred years, and I liked Adcock’s characters (though at times I did want to reach through the pages and give Bridget a good slap). I did not, however, like the supernatural aspects of the story – they were distracting at their best and downright confusing at their worst. I love ghost stories, but I think this book would have worked much better without any actual ghostiness.
Would I recommend it: If you’re looking for a great novel about two captivating (if not always likable) women, give it a whirl. If you’re interested in a spooky ghost story, keep looking.
About the book – from Goodreads: A heart-stopping tale as provocative as is suspenseful, about two conflicted women, separated by one hundred years, and bound by an unthinkable sacrifice.
The Barter is a ghost story and a love story, a riveting emotional tale that also explores motherhood and work and feminism. Set in Texas, in present day, and at the turn of the twentieth century, the novel follows two young mothers at the turning point of their lives.
Bridget has given up her career as an attorney to raise her daughter, joining a cadre of stay-at-home mothers seeking fulfillment in a quiet suburb. But for Bridget, some crucial part of the exchange is absent: Something she loves and needs. And now a terrifying presence has entered her home; only nobody but Bridget can feel it.
On a farm in 1902, a young city bride takes a farmer husband. The marriage bed will become both crucible and anvil as Rebecca first allows, then negates, the powerful erotic connection between them. She turns her back on John to give all her love to their child. Much will occur in this cold house, none of it good.
As Siobhan Adcock crosscuts these stories with mounting tension, each woman arrives at a terrible ordeal of her own making, tinged with love and fear and dread. What will they sacrifice to save their families—and themselves? Readers will slow down to enjoy the gorgeous language, then speed up to see what happens next in a plot that thrums with the weight of decision—and its explosive consequences.