Isabel Archer flees Rome for England to be with her beloved cousin Ralph, who is dying. She is also running from her treacherous husband Gilbert Osmond after discovering the truth about their marriage. Her path forward is not clear, but she knows only one thing – she must be free. While this has been written as a sequel to Henry James’ powerful The Portrait of a Lady, you don’t need to have read that to enjoy this eloquent novel – it works just fine on its own.
Recommended by Olivia Clear, Dubray Blackrock
Having fled Rome and a stultifying marriage, Isabel Osmond is in London, brooding on the recent disclosure of her husband's shocking, years-long betrayal of her. What should she do now, and which way should she turn, in the emotional labyrinth where she has been trapped for so long? Reawakened by grief and the knowledge of having been grievously wronged, she determines to resume her youthful quest for freedom and independence. Soon Isabel must return to Italy and confront her husband, and seek to break his powerful hold on her. But will she succeed in outwitting him, and securing her revenge?Mrs Osmond is a masterly novel of betrayal, corruption and moral ambiguity, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea.