By Margot Livesey
Mercury is at once a tense psychological drama and a taut emotional thriller exploring love, obsession, and the deceits that pull a family apart.
A Kirkus Reviews "Best Fiction of 2016" selection
A Bookpage "Best Books of 2016" selection
A Barnes and Noble "Best Books of 2016" selection
A Seattle Times "Best Books of 2016" selection
'You'll be glued to the page' (People)
A tense psychological drama and a taut emotional thriller exploring love, obsession, and the deceits that pull a family apart.
Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury - a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past - arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.
Mercury's owner, Hilary, is a newcomer to town who has enrolled her daughter in riding lessons. When she brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, everyone is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she had harboured, and relinquished, as a young woman. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession.
Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv's ambitions and his own myopia.
Margot Livesey is a New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue, and the Atlantic. She is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation and her novel The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
- Other details
- Publication date:
23 Mar 2017
- Page count:
Consuming.... Explores themes of honesty and understanding by showing the impact that obsessions-grief, rapacity-can have on a marriage. — The New Yorker
You'll be glued to the page. — People, Pick of the Week
A brilliantly paced contemporary adventure. — Elle
Margot Livesey should be better known. She has a commercial storyteller's talent for sustained suspense and a penchant for the life-changing cruel or criminal act. ... That a gun goes off at a crucial moment ... is not the reason to pick it up. Intricately convincing relationships, and accomplished sentence-making, are — The Wall Street Journal
Mercury is a haunting, meticulous inquiry into the nature of blindness-its insidious power to corrupt marital trust, even between those with perfect vision. Margot Livesey is a searingly intelligent writer at the height of her powers. — Jennifer Egan
Mercury is as luminous, unforgettable, and perfectly rendered as only Margot Livesey can accomplish. I only wished it were twice as long. — Dennis Lehane
Mercury demonstrates Tolstoy's dictum: all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way. The Stevensons find themselves upended by a horse - a magnificent horse that sets off a chain of deceit and crime. This powerful novel reveals the fragility of life when tested by the shock of genuine passion. — Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk