by Siobhan Adcock
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.
It seems that each of the books I have reviewed lately has surprised me! The Barter starts off slow and steady until you realize that you're almost done and...wow. I didn't know what to think of this book because, first of all, it's about motherhood. It doesn't talk about motherhood the way you would think, but before I even opened it, I was skeptical. I'm not a mother and I usually like books that I can relate to on some level.
Once I started the story, however, I was sucked in. As much as this book is about motherhood, it's also a ghost story. I must say that I got pretty creeped out when I started the book. The detail in the writing is wonderful and I actually got chills on my skin. The story/author does a great job of giving the reader a parallel between the stories of Bridget and Rebecca. It is truly a captivating story.
Anyone will appreciate this story - the creepiness isn't too bad either!