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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Mrs Osmond by John Banville, read by Amy Finegan.

'What was freedom, she thought, other than the right to exercise one's choices?'

Isabel Osmond, a spirited, intelligent young heiress, flees to London after being betrayed by her husband, to be with her beloved cousin Ralph on his deathbed. After a sombre, silent existence at her husband's Roman palazzo, Isabel's daring escape to London reawakens her youthful quest for freedom and independence, as old suitors resurface and loyal friends remind her of happier times. But soon Isabel must decide whether to return to Rome to face up to the web of deceit in which she has become entangled, or to strike out on her own once more.

©2017 John Banville (P)2017 Penguin AudioBooks

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  • 12-10-17

Banville and Finegan hit congenitally the nail

Stepping into the tracks of a master - Henry James , by picking up one of his main characters - Isabel Archer and attempting a sequel to his pivotal work - ‘A Portrait of a Lady’ takes a lot of courage - how avoid falling into the traps of hindsight on social developments of the period that James witnessed fist-hand and rendered in all their tentativeness? However, the risk of incredulity is beautifully managed by Banville by letting the plot appear to be driven by the often spontaneous and at times erratic steps of Isabel, in the wail hitting the nail on what makes the spirit of ‘the Portrait’. While remaining throughout faithful to the original, the contemporary sequel develops a logical sequel to Isabel’s marital disappointment as Mrs Osmond into joining the cause of the Souffragettes. With a subtle and differentiated reading Amy Finegan’s hits congenially the nail - making this one of the most perfect audiobooks!