Mrs. Osmond: A novel

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In Mrs. Osmond, John Banville picks up where Henry James ended in The Portrait of a Lady. Having stayed with her beloved cousin Ralph until his death in England, Isabel Osmond now faces a dilemma. Should she return to Rome strictly out of obligation to her irretrievably broken marriage and to a man who lied to her about his past and married her only for her money? If she does not return, what should she do, and what is her obligation to her stepdaughter, Pansy, to whom she promised to return? Almost more importantly, what happened to the Isabel Archer who valued her freedom and independence so highly?

Banville writes a story line that feels like the perfect continuation of James’s novel. Furthermore, he mimics James’s style of syntax beautifully, making this book a delight to read. This is not surprising, as Banville is a Man Booker Prize winner. Still, not everyone would dare to step into the shoes of an author as respected as James. Readers everywhere will be glad Banville did not let any such feelings deter him.


Reviewed By:

Author John Banville
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2017-Nov-07
ISBN 9780451493422
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2018
Category Modern Literature
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