The Barter

The Barter

2.9 (560 ratings by Goodreads)
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A heart-stopping tale as provocative as is suspenseful, about two conflicted women, separated by one hundred years, and bound by an unthinkable sacrifice.
"The Barte"r is a ghost story and a love story, a riveting emotional tale that also explores motherhood and work and feminism. Set in Texas, in present day, and at the turn of the twentieth century, the novel follows two young mothers at the turning point of their lives.
Bridget has given up her career as an attorney to raise her daughter, joining a cadre of stay-at-home mothers seeking fulfillment in a quiet suburb. But for Bridget, some crucial part of the exchange is absent: Something she loves and needs. And now a terrifying presence has entered her home; only nobody but Bridget can feel it.
On a farm in 1902, a young city bride takes a farmer husband. The marriage bed will become both crucible and anvil as Rebecca first allows, then negates, the powerful erotic connection between them. She turns her back on John to give all her love to their child. Much will occur in this cold house, none of it good.
As Siobhan Adcock crosscuts these stories with mounting tension, each woman arrives at a terrible ordeal of her own making, tinged with love and fear and dread. What will they sacrifice to save their families and themselves? Readers will slow down to enjoy the gorgeous language, then speed up to see what happens next in a plot that thrums with the weight of decision and its explosive consequences."
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Product details

  • Hardback | 301 pages
  • 162 x 238 x 32mm | 572g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0525954228
  • 9780525954224

Review quote

Praise for "The Barter: "
Praise for The Barter
"A thoughtful and surprisingly witty novel. It weighs its horrors precisely...What you're afraid of is part of who you are." - "The New York Times Book Review"
"A good, old-fashioned ghost story that will make you jump when your walls creak...her thoughtful story will keep readers reflecting on its themes once the shivers have passed." --BookPage
"A suspenseful and thrilling ghost story about two women, separated by 100 years, who are bound by a haunting secret coined from the obscurities of motherhood and marriage. You won't be able to put this haunting love story down and you might even be afraid of the dark after this chilling read." --Buzzfeed
"With lush language that provides contrast to the gripping plot, Adcock's debut novel weaves two tragic love stories into one tense and provocative tale of love, fear and personal ordeal." -"Working Mother"
"Haunting . . . You'll slow down through the gorgeous language, but speed up to find out what happens in the explosive, fast-paced plot."
"A thriller about two mothers . . . as the women learn, happiness can also be mysterious, and even love can sometimes be disguised as a threat." -Shelf Awareness
"[A] creepy and atmospheric tale that many mothers will definitely relate to." --Parkersburg News & Sentinel (West Virginia)
[A] suspenseful debut." -"Publishers Weekly"
"Eerie and atmospheric, this psychological thriller will twist its way into readers' psyches." -"Booklist"
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About Siobhan Adcock

SIOBHAN ADCOCK received her MFA in fiction from Cornell University, and her short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines. She has worked as a writer and editor for Epicurious,,, and The Knowm among other digital publishers. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
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Rating details

560 ratings
2.9 out of 5 stars
5 9% (48)
4 18% (102)
3 38% (211)
2 26% (143)
1 10% (56)
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