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The Hare : a novel
2021
Availability
Author Notes

Melanie Finn is the author of Shame which made the Not the Booker Prize 2015 shortlist, which is run by the Guardian in the UK and voted on by the public.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Trade Reviews
Library Journal Review
In this latest from Finn, whose The Gloaming was a finalist for the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize, Rosie has seemingly escaped her abusive childhood when she meets Bennett. To the lonely, inexperienced Rosie, the older Bennett appears to be a treasure trove of knowledge, money, class, and protection, yet there is something off about him. They spend the summer in a borrowed beach house on Connecticut's Gold Coast, where Rosie is essentially trapped without transportation or money. When they leave abruptly in the middle of the night to relocate to an unheated house in rural Vermont, Rosie begins to understand that something is not right. Left alone with baby Miranda for weeks at a time, Rosie learns from their neighbor Billie how to shoot a gun, find food in the woods, secure handouts in the nearest town, and avoid scrutiny by authorities. She also learns she can survive on her own, and Bennett is in for a surprise when he finally returns. VERDICT Finn offers a chilling account of the ways women can be abused, with sexual assault, psychological trauma, objectification, and murder crossing class boundaries. Yet as she also shows, women often cannot escape the cages they have helped to build around their lives. A #MeToo tale that will also appeal to general readers.--Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence
Booklist Review
Rosie Monroe is an art student in New York in the 1980s, pursuing her dreams away from her small Massachusetts hometown. Bennett, an older man, sweeps her off her feet with his charm and cultured mannerisms. His affluent lifestyle dazzles Rosie, who feels awed that such a wealthy man is showing interest in her, and she quickly learns to adjust to his dominant old-world manners. However, as she falls in love and has a child with him, she soon sees past the facades that hide his nefarious cons. In the middle of the night, he takes her and their child from their glamorous estate to a rundown cabin in northern Vermont, abandoning her for long periods of time and forcing Rosie to fend for herself in the forest while raising their daughter on her own. When she finally takes matters into her own hands to break free from him, the consequences she faces become long-lasting. This thought-provoking literary thriller from Finn (The Underneath, 2018) brilliantly depicts the effects of patriarchy on women and their sense of duty to please men. This resilient heroine embodies the evolution of feminism in a male-dominant society, making this a poignant story for our time.
Summary

* 2021 Vermont Book Award, Winner.
* 2021 New England Book Awards, Finalist.
* A3C Reads: March 2023 Book of the Month.
"A Most Anticipated Book of 2021" --Elle, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Vulture
The Hare is an affecting portrait of Rosie Monroe, of her resilience and personal transformation under the pin of the male gaze.

Raised to be obedient by a stern grandmother in a blue-collar town in Massachusetts, Rosie accepts a scholarship to art school in New York City in the 1980s. One morning at a museum, she meets a worldly man twenty years her senior, with access to the upper crust of New England society. Bennett is dashing, knows that "polo" refers only to ponies, teaches her which direction to spoon soup, and tells of exotic escapades with Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson. Soon, Rosie is living with him on a swanky estate on Connecticut's Gold Coast, naively in sway to his moral ambivalence. A daughter--Miranda--is born, just as his current con goes awry forcing them to abscond in the middle of the night to the untamed wilderness of northern Vermont.

Almost immediately, Bennett abandons them in an uninsulated cabin without a car or cash for weeks at a time, so he can tend a teaching job that may or may not exist at an elite college. Rosie is forced to care for her young daughter alone, and to tackle the stubborn intricacies of the wood stove, snowshoe into town, hunt for wild game, and forage in the forest. As Rosie and Miranda's life gradually begins to normalize, Bennett's schemes turn malevolent, and Rosie must at last confront his twisted deceptions. Her actions have far-reaching and perilous consequences.

An astounding new literary thriller from a celebrated author at the height of her storytelling prowess, The Hare bravely considers a woman's inherent sense of obligation--sexual and emotional--to the male hierarchy, and deserves to be part of our conversation as we reckon with #MeToo and the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Rosie Monroe emerges as an authentic, tarnished feminist heroine.

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