Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Engagement







Liese Campbell is an Architect from London who has fled the recession in search of work in Australia. She accepts a tedious job with her uncle as an Estate Agent based in Melbourne. Through her work she meets Alexander Colquhoun a handsome and wealthy rancher looking for a city crash pad. To amuse herself and make some extra money Liese starts sleeping with Alexander for money. When he invites her to his remote property for the weekend she sees no reason to say no. However while Liese thinks she has been playing the game by her rules she soon learns that all is not as it seems. 
Chloe Hooper has cleverly subverted the Gothic Drama of the girl trapped in the big house by a handsome charismatic man. Here the girl is no innocent but sexually blasé and desperate for money. As in the gothic drama she depends on him financially and by going to the remote farmhouse a rambling Victorian mansion she comes to depend on him for everything food, water, clothes. She uses her sexuality to try and appease him and he points out that this makes her a whore. While Liese is all too modern with her debts and lack of ambition Alexander is a strangely old fashioned character who feels the need to save Liese from her “whoredom”.  Tension mounts as he reveals himself to be increasingly unstable and Liese starts to question her safety and plan her escape. A dark unsettling read which will appeal to fans of the gothic as well as those who enjoy tales of twisted relationships such as Gone Girl.
The Engagement is published 24/01/13 by Jonathan Cape

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