What to expect

From the acclaimed author of The End We Start From, The Harpy is a fierce tale of love, betrayal and revenge.

‘The Harpy is brilliant . . . A deeply unsettling, excellent read.’ Daisy Johnson

Lucy and Jake live in a house by a field where the sun burns like a ball of fire. Lucy works from home but devotes her life to the children, to their finely tuned routine, and to the house itself, which comforts her like an old, sly friend. But then a man calls one afternoon with a shattering message: his wife has been having an affair with Lucy’s husband, he wants her to know.

The revelation marks a turning point: Lucy and Jake decide to stay together, but in a special arrangement designed to even the score and save their marriage, she will hurt him three times. Jake will not know when the hurt is coming, nor what form it will take.

As the couple submit to a delicate game of crime and punishment, Lucy herself begins to change, surrendering to a transformation of both mind and body from which there is no return.

Told in dazzling, musical prose, The Harpy by Megan Hunter is a dark, staggering fairy tale, at once mythical and otherworldly and fiercely contemporary. It is a novel of love, marriage and its failures, of power and revenge, of metamorphosis and renewal.

Critics Review

  • The Harpy is brilliant. Hunter imbues the everyday with apocalyptic unease. A deeply unsettling, excellent read.

    Daisy Johnson, Booker shortlisted author of Everything Under
  • In The Harpy, Hunter has articulated female rage in a way that lives on in your bones and in your gut. A genuinely thrilling read, one long beautiful scream.

    Evie Wyld
  • The Harpy is an almost perfect book. The premise is so simple, and the execution so flawless . . . I’ve talked about it more than anything else I’ve read so far this year: I love explaining the set-up to friends and watching their eyes widen. It’s so dark and so much fun.

    Kristen Roupenian, author of Cat Person
  • Sentence after sentence made my skin bump. Not just with what the sentence said, but because the writing was so very, very good. It’s a brilliant piece of work.

    Cynan Jones, author of Cove
  • Utterly compelling . . . so precise and darkly truthful. I thought it succeeding in illuminating – with flair and originality – the damage done by betrayal.

    Esther Freud
  • I was utterly spellbound. Her dark humour and pointillist prose puts her in league with Lydia Davis and Jenny Offil, masterfully rendering the emotional shock of a protagonist finding her life has become story.

    Olivia Sudjic, author of Sympathy

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