Historisch Josephine Hart The Stillest Day

ISBN 13: 9780099275336

The Stillest Day

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9780099275336: The Stillest Day

Bethesda Grant is an artist and a teacher. Her village life is order-ed and calm, until one day the sudden vision of a man's face sears itself onto her mind's eye, an imprint of sensual, hypnotic power. She begins to paint fragmented images of Mathew Pearson, secretly and obsessively. But Mathew Pearson has a wife, a small, laughing, preg-nant creature, whom Bethesda's mother befriends. On the stillest day Bethesda performs an act so bold and violent that it shatters all their lives - she performs a very bloody and risky emergency caesarean on Mathew's wife, using a piece of mirror glass, to deliver a baby daughter, leaving the mother dead. THE STILLEST DAY is an exquisitely taut and shocking novel about a young woman at the turn of the century who transgresses - both in life and in art - the limits set down for her.

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Review:

The titles of Josephine Hart's previous novels reveal that her view of love is a dark one indeed. In Damage, she detailed the destructive love affair between a middle-aged man and his son's fiancé. In Sin she took sibling rivalry to murderous lengths, while in Oblivion she detailed the aftermath of a young woman's sudden death and the resulting madness it visits upon her grieving mother and husband. Any one of this British author's books might just as easily been named Obsession, since this seems to be the condition her characters eventually arrive at as a consequence of loving not wisely but too well.

Such is the case in Hart's fourth novel, The Stillest Day, in which she introduces us to Bethesda Barnet, a young woman living with her invalid mother in a small English village at the turn of the century. Into this quiet life comes Matthew Pearson who, along with his pregnant wife, has moved in next door. Soon Betheseda is obsessed with Matthew--the kind of obsession that can only lead to tragedy--and does. As usual, the author delineates this very Gothic tale in a cool prose that heightens the tension while supressing the melodrama. At one point, Matthew asks Bethseda, "How many Cleopatras do we need to prove we can die for love? How many Othellos to prove we can kill for love?" In Josephine Hart's bleak universe, it only takes one. --Margaret Prior

About the Author:

Born and educated in Ireland, Josephine Hart is the bestselling author of Damage (filmed with Juliette Binoche and Jeremy Irons), Sin and Oblivion. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She founded Gallery Poets and produced several successful West End plays, including The House of Bernarda Alba, The Vortex and Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince, and has also presented Thames TV's Books By My Bedside. She is married to Maurice Saatchi and has two sons. She lives in London.

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Josephine Hart
Published by Vintage (1999)
ISBN 10: 0099275333 ISBN 13: 9780099275336
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Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
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Book Description Vintage, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 99275333

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