320 Pages 4
This novel is not only a riveting horror story because of the presence of a possibly hostile ghost that moves right in and refuses to leave, but it leads the reader to view being a stay at home mother as also a horror.
Sadly it does leave the impression that being a non-working mother is a woman leading a life of vapid conversation, busy-time with the children to fill empty holes in the life and a lot of coffee, yoga and mommy sessions that suck your life away. Now, I'll admit that I have been both and I see both sides of that working/non-working fence, but I think that there might be some stay at home moms who aren't all that thrilled with their depiction in this novel. But of course that's a battle that will never be won by either side. I truly got the impression that the author thinks very low thoughts of stay at home moms - she rather went out of her way, unnecessarily to the story line - to make that part of our society look bad. It was rather like a sidebar to the story itself.
Now back to the ghost. This story is told by two characters, Bridget in the present and Rebecca in the past. Rebecca becomes the ghost and the detailing of her life leaves you on the edge of your seat to find out why she is suddenly haunting Bridget 100 years later, what caused this to happen and what is she actually after. You don't find out until the end of the book the why's and how's, which is great - generally you figure it out at least 3/4ths of the way through. It was a bit muddled to me - the why's and how's - but it is a fictional story and doesn't have to follow clean linear street signs.
Idgie's thoughts - Gripping, scary and well worth the read..... unless you're a stay at home mom.. :)
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 Barter 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.