Mrs. Osmond

Mrs. Osmond

A Novel

Book - 2017
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John Banville's novel Mrs. Osmond extends the story of Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady. Isabel Archer is a young American woman, swept off to Europe in the late nineteenth century by an aunt who hopes to round out the impetuous but naive girl's experience of the world. When Isabel comes into a large, unexpected inheritance, she is finagled into a marriage with the charming, penniless, and--as Isabel finds out too late--cruel and deceitful Gilbert Osmond, whose connection to a certain Madame Merle is suspiciously intimate. On a trip to England to visit her cousin Ralph Touchett on his deathbed, Isabel is offered a chance to free herself from the marriage, but nonetheless chooses to return to Italy. Mrs. Osmond takes up James's story at this point and follows a narrative of its own, enhanced by layers of emotional and psychological intensity and subtle, dark humor.
Publisher: ©2017.
New York, NY :, Alfred A. Knopf,, [2017]
Edition: First American edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017.
ISBN: 9780451493422
Characteristics: 369 pages ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: James, Henry 1843-1916. Portrait of a lady.
Summary: John Banville's novel Mrs. Osmond extends the story of Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady. Isabel Archer is a young American woman, swept off to Europe in the late nineteenth century by an aunt who hopes to round out the impetuous but naive girl's experience of the world. When Isabel comes into a large, unexpected inheritance, she is finagled into a marriage with the charming, penniless, and--as Isabel finds out too late--cruel and deceitful Gilbert Osmond, whose connection to a certain Madame Merle is suspiciously intimate. On a trip to England to visit her cousin Ralph Touchett on his deathbed, Isabel is offered a chance to free herself from the marriage, but nonetheless chooses to return to Italy. Mrs. Osmond takes up James's story at this point and follows a narrative of its own, enhanced by layers of emotional and psychological intensity and subtle, dark humor.

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gramma66
Dec 20, 2017

Fabulous, most memorable, extremely enjoyable.
Banville is an artist with language and his characters are drawn carefully enough that the reader will remember them. Highly praise!

abruzzo79 Dec 18, 2017

Amazing!

Nicr Sep 27, 2017

Isabel Archer Osmond's exit from Gardencourt following the death of her cousin Ralph is the launching point for Banville's resumption of the Henry James heroine's story. She decides to buy her way out of her mercenary marriage; how she ransoms herself forms the plot of the novel.Gorgeous sentence upon gorgeous sentence, her story unfolds. There really is no finer stylist in contemporary fiction.

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