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The Harpy ❄ [KINDLE] ✽ The Harpy By Megan Hunter ➝ – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Lucy and Jake live in a house by a field where the sun burns like a ball of fire Lucy has set her career aside in order to devote her life to the children to their finely tuned routine and to the hous Lucy and Jake live in a house by a field where the sun burns like a ball of fire Lucy has set her career aside in order to devote 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 Jake The revelation marks a turning point Lucy and Jake decide to stay together but make a special arrangement designed to even the score and save their marriage she will hurt him three timesAs 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 returnTold in dazzling musical prose The Harpy 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 control and revenge of metamorphosis and renewal.

  • Hardcover
  • The Harpy
  • Megan Hunter
  • English
  • 20 September 2016
  • 9780802148162

About the Author: Megan Hunter

Megan Hunter’s first novel The End We Start From was published in in the UK US and Canada and has been translated into eight languages It was shortlisted for Novel of the Year at the Books Are My Bag Awards longlisted for the Aspen Words Prize was a Barnes and Noble Discover Awards finalist and won the Forward Reviews Editor’s Choice Award Her writing has appeared in The White Review.

10 thoughts on “The Harpy

  1. Amalia Gavea Amalia Gavea says:

    ''Three I'd said it out loud after he did It made a kind of neat sense something religious about its structure Father Son and Holy Spirit Peter betrayed Jesus three times A familiar number for a good Christian girl like me I remember being allowed to ring the bell in church three times I was told'' Lucy mother to two boys discovers that her husband committed adultery In a strange attempt to help their marriage survive they agree on a special term Lucy will have the chance to hurt Jake three times ''Hurt'' figuratively and literally But is it enough? Can retaliation in any form erase the absolute act of betrayal? Will Lucy be able to actually forgive and forget? Has Jake truly regretted his horrible choice? ''I walked past the field to the meadows and river which ran behind it turned my face to the grasses my vision pulled to the horizon There was a sweet rich smell of sun and green kayaks and swans passing by the water It was a moving busy day; I turned my face to the wind felt its smooth power against my skin'' Megan Hunter's The End We Start From is one of the most memorable books I've ever had the blessing to read In her eually beautiful novel The Harpy Hunter creates a story that doesn't take place in a dystopian world but within the very real very demanding microcosm of a family and the extreme difficulties that occur within a marriage We don't need a dystopian universe to experience sadness and hatred we don't need an external to betray and find ourselves betrayed Many times the dynamics within a relationship resemble a minefield One wrong step one wrong choice and everything's blown to piecesIn language that flows in realistic and poetic prose Hunter presents Lucy a character that won't forget Without resorting to hysterics with a full understanding of the situation she is called to face Lucy battles with herself and the need to protect her children and doesn't refrain from uestioning herself What makes the story stand out is the presence of the Harpy ''Sometimes as a child I would get the book out just to look at the harpies to trace the way the wings grew out of their backs easy extensions of their shoulders lifting into the air I wanted to know why their faces were like that sunken creased by hate I wanted to ask my mother uestions but the words dried in my mouth sat sour under my tongue unspoken'' The harpy is one of the most peculiar and intriguing creatures in Greek Mythology Half bird half women related to stormy winds believed to carry people away and especially hostile towards men they are often found in Early Modern Literature particularly in the Shakespearean plays In Hunter's novel we don't really know where Lucy's thoughts end and where the harpy's thoughts begin This ambiguity lends this extraordinary haunting aura in the text and in my opinion exposes the image of an artificial peace and uiet the fragile family prosperity and the viciousness of your exposed sadness when every acuaintance thinks they have the right to judge you while expressing their hypocritical exclamations of pity And what about forgiveness? Is it even possible? Do some of us have the right to ask for forgiveness and absolution? A good book nay an extraordinary book is born when daily issues are presented through new lens beautiful writing and tangible characters This is a harpy we must all come to know ''I tried my fucking best I realized I had said that out loud glanced around to check if everyone had heard There was no one only trees the city light hazing their leaves in a pinched glow Then a single swan gliding downstream the arc of her neck a uestion mark the soft curve of her feathers like a yes on the water'' Many thanks to Grove Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest reviewMy reviews can also be found on

  2. Michelle Michelle says:

    This is a story about infidelity that was told in such poetic beautiful prose that you simply can't look away from the page Stories about infidelity are nothing new by any means but where Hunter excels is making it so realistic Lucy and Jake could be any married couple you know This felt like an authentic marriage in the midst of a breakdown Lucy believes she has a wonderful life Happily married to Jake with two young sons Paddy and Teddy She gladly put her career aside to raise their sons because that is what a good wife and mother does They give a little piece of themselves up in order to maintain happiness in the home So Lucy is completely blindsided when she gets a call from a man claiming that his wife is having an affair with her husband Not just any woman but Vanessa his much older colleague from work These are people she invited into her home for dinner parties Not once had she ever suspected that something like this would happen Never once had she wondered about the late nights with co workers and off scheduled trains delaying his arrival and what that actually meant All those lies that so easily slipped off his tongue and through his lips are like a slap to the face now Clarity becomes so bright her mind nearly breaks When Vanessa had complimented the house I had rushed to clarify red faced holding a plate of mince meat pies It's only rented Not ours I wish Who was I pretending to be when I spoke like that? Stupid cunt I whispered this under my breath as I sprayed the glass coffee table wiping fresh streak across it's surface I didn't know who I was talking to but it felt good in my mouth anyway a small wet kissFeeling empty devastated and angry she decides that Jake will be punished three times and he in all his guilt agrees to these terms All three will be a surprise and done precisely when Lucy feels the time is right Mary look conflicted pained a near stranger at a funeral Lucy you know you can talk to me don't you? If there is anything wrong anything wrong at allSo she knew Shit Fuckity fuck I had noticed the swearing in my head was becoming very childish lately as though I was learning how to use words all over again Curses had begun to spill out of my mouth dribble like at ordinary moments loading washing in to the machine pulling hairs out of the drain Ah yes Everything's fine but thanks ThanksThe last few words were loud sharply pitched yelled over my shoulder as I pedaled awayWhy was I the one who was looked at as damaged? Jake had been unfaithful but somehow that reflected badly on me I could tell Just a housewife really Nothing achieved no publications under my name Not worth staying faithful to Interspersed throughout the story are recollections of her youth when she became obsessed with the mythological creature the Harpy For those that don't know the Harpies are bird like creatures with female faces that are known to torment and kidnap men that did terrible things During these recollections we also find out about the abuse her mother faced at her fathers hand often openly in front of her which leads to her obsession with the Harpies The end of this is left up for the reader to interpret which isn't my favorite way to conclude a story I wanted to know what happened between Lucy and Jake so for that I have to knock a star 4 stars Thank you to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review

  3. Dannii Elle Dannii Elle says:

    One day amid the daily humdrum of chores and child care a phone call stirs the silence A message is delivered Lucy's husband is having an affair And just like that or maybe long before the harpy is awokenThis novel was constructed in such an interesting format Lucy when faced with her husband's infidelity moves through the range of emotions movies and TV shows have taught her to feel These are experienced only at surface level and beneath them the only way she truly feels she can heal begins to reveal itself three hurts for the ongoing one he has done to herSeuestering these scenes from Lucy's life are the movements of the harpy a mythological being combining the features of a woman with those of a bird These are brief and detail Lucy's childhood attachment with them her university research reveals their journey from Greek and Roman mythology to the present and her present predicament welcomes their arrivalDespite the catastrophe that is played out this is somehow still a uiet novel It is very inwardly focused relying on simmering emotion amongst daily suburban trivialities and small acts of vengeance which later culminate to one of staggering and unprecedented proportionsThe ending feels glaringly inconclusive but not in an unlikable fashion It felt fitting that the reader gets to decide whether this harpy grew her wings and took flight or uncurled her talons for one final act against those who had wronged herI relieved a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Thank you to the author Megan Hunter and the publisher Picador for this opportunity

  4. Valliya Rennell Valliya Rennell says:

    225 stars Many thanks to Grove Atlantic Megan Hunter and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review Release date November 13 2020I was really excited to read this book Contemporary fiction is something that I am actively trying to read of Magical realism was the other part of the synopsis that intrigued me A woman slowly becoming a harpy? Bring it on Turns out this book as a an intense identity issue on this later Lucy's husband Jake cheated on her with Vanesa his older co worker In the efforts to mend their relationship Jake and Lucy decide that payback is needed Lucy will be hurt Jake thrice and they will be even One thing neither of them could have anticipated was the effect this would have on them and Lucy especially The harpy that sleeps inside her is starting to awakenFirst off I'll tackle the confusing themes I said that I thought this book was having an identity crisis and I stick with that At moments I thought it was meant to be feminist and at others it just seemed very anti women similar to the way The Wives was The entire progression of this book relies on Lucy engaging her emotions and letting herself be heard However there are so many little things that contradicted that theme which you'd think is the main one because the book is literally titled The Harpy Motherhood is talked about a lot and very rarely in a positive light On one hand Lucy kills herself over doing even the smallest things wrong when it comes to her children On the other she constantly views them as a nuisance and at times she wishes she would have just ran away when they were born Motherhood and women's roles in the house are both shown to be the deciding factors when it comes to a woman's worth in this book Lucy often worries over how the other women will perceive her The entire time I was wondering where this was going but it didn't really go anywhereview spoiler I want to touch up on that ending a bit Did Lucy kill herself? Jump off the house? That's what I got from it Again this is really confusing because I would have thought that after she hospitalised Jake she'd think of the children and do something to be there for them But she transforms into the harpy and dies? wut Maybe I am interpreting this wrong if so please help hide spoiler

  5. Sam Quixote Sam Quixote says:

    Lucy is a married mother of two who finds out her husband Jake has cheated on her with an older woman Distraught they agree that Lucy can cause harm to Jake three times whenever she wishes without retaliation to make up for the infidelity Yeah this marriage will go the distance The premise intrigued me as did the harpy angle I thought it’d be this interesting modern dark fairy tale but unfortunately it turned out to be a very dull story with some trite allusions to harpies scattered through mundane scenes of domestic strife The premise of Lucy harming Jake doesn’t develop beyond the surface and I came to view it for what it is astoopid I mean is their marriage meant to be “fixed” after the husband has domestic violence enacted on him multiple times? Of course not there’s no path to happiness for them there They’re a horrible couple who are obviously unhappy and shouldn’t be together The answer shouldn’t be violence but a tacit understanding that their marriage is over and they’ll see other people and decide whether to continue to live together for the kids’ sake or not That’s only a small part of the book though most of it is Lucy rambling on about the stresses of motherhood and being dissatisfied with her work It ain’t gripping reading and she doesn’t say anything remarkable about either And then there’s the wishy washy ending view spoilerwhere she goes into a cop out trance state with some vague rubbish about being raped and witnessing domestic violence in her own parents which I guess are meant to excuseexplain her shitty behaviour towards her husband hide spoiler

  6. rayne ♥ [ IG: rayne.reads ] rayne ♥ [ IG: rayne.reads ] says:

    ❝ Sometimes I uestion whether anyone can know what it's like before it happens Marriage and motherhood are like death in this way and others too no one comes back unchanged ❞ I don’t know how I feel about this book It’s dark and gritty fused with themes of infidelity and abuse strewn in The writing style was very poetic and I thought the author’s writing was beautiful but some of the descriptions felt a bit unnecessary The Harpy follows the life of Lucy as she learns of her husband’s infidelity She’s tossed into a never ending cycle of pain and obsession and begins to deteriorate This book definitely drove me into a bad mood left me with a sour taste in my mouth and I couldn’t help sympathizing with Lucy for everything she went throughIt was a short read and the last few pages really left me wishing for I thought that the ending would leave me surprised or lead into something much grand maybe even feeding off into the glint of horror that had started to appear throughout the book but it was none of that It left me conflicted and confused than anything and for me it was unsatisfying I wish that some uestions would be answered and we’d know about Lucy’s uniue situation towards the end but I think this book is meant to serve as a portrait of identification and finding oneself than resolving one’s problem though I can’t hide my discontent nor curiosity towards the matterI’m kind of stuck on how to rate this on one hand this book was very poetic and beautiful in a twisted kind of way but also left me bitter and wanting I definitely reccomend checking this out for yourself but be warned that it deals with dark topics situations and will definitely leave you in a sour sort of mood Review copy provided by the publisher and netgalley in exchange for an honest review instagram | blog | goodreads

  7. Silvia Moreno-Garcia Silvia Moreno-Garcia says:

    The story of a marriage breaking down and a woman maybe turning into a murderous mythological bird frankly sounds very exciting and this does open with a WHAM but then it dials it down to a simmer Which is not bad since the prose is just so beautiful but for anyone expecting a SFF novel this is definitely literary with a big L and not you know Horrid Mutation Mommy Very much an exploration of a character in this case of a woman who is struggling under the heaping pressure of societal expectations Just lovely but overlong One feels this would have been a killer short story and is stretched a bit thin at the end But if you like beautiful writing and introspection and I do you'll lap it up

  8. Gumble& Gumble& says:

    Published today 392020 I lift the razor and a fairy tale drop of blood escapes from under the silver Megan Hunter’s debut novel “The End We Start From” was a ruthlessly pared back and fragmentary novellaprose poem set in a dystopian future where London is submerged by unexpectedly catastrophic sea level rises just as the female narrator gives birth It was woven through with italicised excerpts from mythological and religious texts around creationflood and end times It was a haunting book as well as an obliue meditation on the physicality of being a motherThis her second novel has many links to the firstThe book still contains a meditation on motherhood although the narrator and her circle of friends and colleagues have moved beyond the physicality of the first book – albeit into a period with its own challenges particularly of thwarted career ambitions But few of us had babies or even toddlers any and we spoke of those days with the kind of uiet reverence that elderly people use to speak about the war our eyes misting over with the memory of the atmosphere the breathy physicality the murky blending of space and time Now most of us had careers that were still on hold or had moved somehow to a forever part time lower waged track We were still many years away from the trickle of divorces that would begin just as our children became teenagers their rebellions reminding us in bodily unavoidable forms of worlds where things happened For now families were steady In this place most husbands had highly paid jobs travelled a lot Most wives despite their multiple degrees did all the school runs counted the days until their men returned from Stockholm or Singapore And there are some superb lines on being a parent It happened on a Friday the boys in their last rhythm of the week me trying to stay steady for them a ship in dock something you could hardly see the end of I picked them up from school administering snacks absorbing shreds of their days the wrappers from their sweets I was always liberal about television; I don’t know if I would have survived otherwise without the children’s thoughts separated from my own peeled away and placed in a boxPeople complain that women lose themselves to motherhood but aren’t so many of the things we do an attempt to lose ourselves? The narrator of this book is Lucy Stevenson married to Jake a University researcher The book effectively begins when David Holmes another University employee leaves her a voice mail to say that Jake has been having an affair with David’s wife Vanessa 10 years older than Jake and a close colleague David we are told when he calls “was careful to use surnames for everyone To make it official” – of course a I assume deliberate contrast to the first book which had an unnamed narrator with her family known only by initials And interestingly whereas the first book is explicitly set in London this one is in an unnamed University City which seems to be Cambridge although left vague as to whether it could also be OxfordLucy was aware David was close to Vanessa but had dismissed an affair assuming she was safer than David spending time with young graduate students and happy to take his late night working as an excuse to have some me time but now I watched a wave of my own ignorance gathering at the edge of my thoughts low like tsunamis seemed to be from a distance threatening to overtake everything An image which with its idea of an impending flood links to the first book and to Lucy’s increased obsession with disasterLike the first novel the book draws heavily on mythology – but in this case one basic myth – that of the Harpy a myth image which has fascinated Lucy since childhood When I was a child there was a book – out of print now expensive – about a unicorn who went into the sea and became a narwhal The book had beautiful illustrations dark blue seas peach pale evening skies But the picture I remembered best was of the harpies dark shadows birds with women’s faces who came down to torture the unicorn to make him suffer I asked my mother what a harpy was and she told me they punish men for the things they do And which later as we learn from italicised sections became the subject of her study and researchDesperate to placate Lucy Jake suggests that she takes physical revenge on him – and the two agree that she can inflict damage on him on three occasions three picked for its religious echoes – again linking to the first book And the Lucy I feel explicitly draws on the legend of the Harpy for her three fold revenge the Harpy’s role in the story of King Phineus of Thrace in spoiling the food in a feast; the Harpy’s role in stealing possessions in this case a phone and then an academic career and the Harpy’s role in torture particularly of those who have killed their own familyOver time the book gathers depth in a number of ways Lucy’s revenge becomes dramatic in its conseuences; we learn of her past hurts and realise her revenge is not just on Jake and recent hurts but a much longer period of hurt and stored up vengeance; we explore the themes of forgiveness against vengeance of contrition against guilt – and most powerfully how over time society has mythologised female justice as being unacceptable and importantly unnatural than male transgressions; the book takes on fantastical tones as Lucy fully grows into her role as avenging harpyAs the opening uote implies this is a razor sharp novel – using fantasy to explore its themes Recommended My thanks to Pan Macmillan for an ARC via NetGalley

  9. Hannah Hannah says:

    Megan Hunter's prose is as spell binding as ever I really enjoyed her debut but knew even as I read it that it would not stick with me But sometimes I like books told in style and glitter and beautiful sentences This book is different the prose is deliberately over the top and overwritten stunningly so but still A LOT whereas The End We Start From was deliberately sparse in a way that I prefered However this book has stuck with me and I cannot uite stop thinking about it It is so very clever but was ultimately for me at least let down by its vague ending that did not work as well as the unflinching honesty the rest of the book possessed I rounded up my rating anyways because of the aforementioned clevernessTold from a close first person narration by Lucy as former PhD student of the Classics who now lives her life as a stay at home mum of two who occasionally free lances this book is a look at motherhood and relationships The book starts with Lucy finding out that her husband has been cheating on her and them agreeing to her being allowed to hurt him three times Interspersed are prose poem like asides about harpies the subject of Lucy's abandoned PhD project Lucy is before everything else resentful; resentful of the way her life has turned out resentful of her husband resentful of the other parents at her children's school and yes often resentful of the time her children demand of her Jake is not a bad man he is present and an active part in their children's lives but still most of the mind numbingly boring parts of motherhood are managed by Lucy alone driving the children to school and to their different activities making sure they have snacks that they are clothed properly and so on and Lucy resents that It feels like she is even a little bit relieved when Jake's affair comes to light because it gives her anger a focus a reasonable excuse to give in to the swirling feelings she has Lucy is difficult to root for because she is so grimly unhappy and humourlessly mean but she is also stuck in a situation she never wanted to be in and as such I could not help but feel for her Her husband has the job she was on a trajectory on being a university lecturer at an unnamed university it does feel like either Oxford or Cambridge from the way their town is described her ambition left her but not enough for her to be happy with her life as it isContent warning self harm alcohol abuse cheating domestic abuse vomit suicideI received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  10. Renee Godding Renee Godding says:

    3755 starsInteresting premise well written and kept me hooked from start to finish Only complaint would be the ending the entirety of part 4 felt a bit too rushed and unsatisfying to me

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