‘Sharply written . . . takes readers on a thrillingly doomed journey amid the simmering heat of an Italian landscape – a captivating portrayal of self and want’ Christine Mangan, author of Sunday Times bestselling Tangerine
To cool-headed, fastidious Pricilla Messing, Italy will be an escape, a brief glimpse of freedom from a life that’s starting to feel like one long decline.
Rescued from the bedside of her difficult mother, forty-something Cilla finds herself called away to Rome to keep an eye on her wayward teenage niece, Hannah. But after years of caregiving, babysitting is the last thing Cilla wants to do. Instead she throws herself into Hannah’s youthful, heedless world – drinking, dancing, smoking – relishing the heady atmosphere of the Italian summer. After years of feeling used up and overlooked, Cilla feels like she’s coming back to life.
But being so close to Hannah brings up complicated memories, making Cilla restless and increasingly reckless, and a dangerous flirtation with a teenage boy soon threatens to send her into a tailspin.
With the sharp-edged insight of Ottessa Moshfegh and the taut seduction of Patricia Highsmith, The Worst Kind of Want is a dark, hypnotic literary noir about a woman whose unruly desires and troubled past push her to the brink of disaster. *** Praise for The Worst Kind of Want: ‘Masterfully constructed . . . Dazzling . . . Wonderfully surprising and a pleasure to read’ LA Review of Books
‘Worth obsessing over’ PopSugar
‘Noirish and sexy, this provocative novel explores what it’s like to be a woman on the edge, and what happens when dreams are deferred for too long’ Esquire
‘As death-steeped, sultry, and delicious as the ancient Italian cities in which it’s set’ Lit Hub
‘Intoxicating’ Publishers Weekly
‘Sets her narrator on a dark psychological journey in sweltering, sun-bleached locales . . . Darkly compelling’ Booklist