Story #1: a retelling of The Book of Esther – Vashti, the first wife is banished, and the king orders a pageant to choose wife #2. Story #2: Vivian, the wife of a Watergate-era Senator, is the subject of sexual assault by her husband, and when one incident becomes semi-public, goes into hiding with her childhood friend in Massachusetts. Story #3: Contemporary Brooklynite Lily has given up her career for her husband and children. She’s promised to provide dresses for the Purim celebration, but her attention lapses when her mother is diagnosed with cancer. The three alternately told stories link together, through the connections between women, the plight of women in a male-dominated world, and the connection between truth and storytelling, notably how stories are affected by who is telling the story. The Book of V is a potent novel for mind and spirit and will likely be the subject of much discussion.— Daniel Goldin
May 2020 Indie Next List
“Astounding! In the talented hands of Anna Solomon, the lives of three women in different eras come to life with equal vibrancy. A compelling look at the roles of women through time (ancient Persia, 1970s D.C., and Brooklyn in 2016), as well as what it means to have and use power and to feel safe in a relationship. So much material here for discussion. I cannot wait to put this into the hands of our readers!”
— Caitlin Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICKA BELLETRIST BOOK CLUB PICK For fans of The Hours and Fates and Furies, a bold, kaleidoscopic novel intertwining the lives of three women across three centuries as their stories of sex, power, and desire finally converge in the present day. Lily is a mother and a daughter. And a second wife. And a writer, maybe? Or she was going to be, before she had children. Now, in her rented Brooklyn apartment she's grappling with her sexual and intellectual desires, while also trying to manage her roles as a mother and a wife in 2016. Vivian Barr seems to be the perfect political wife, dedicated to helping her charismatic and ambitious husband find success in Watergate-era Washington D.C. But one night he demands a humiliating favor, and her refusal to obey changes the course of her life--along with the lives of others. Esther is a fiercely independent young woman in ancient Persia, where she and her uncle's tribe live a tenuous existence outside the palace walls. When an innocent mistake results in devastating consequences for her people, she is offered up as a sacrifice to please the King, in the hopes that she will save them all. In Anna Solomon's The Book of V., these three characters' riveting stories overlap and ultimately collide, illuminating how women's lives have and have not changed over thousands of years.
About the Author
Anna Solomon is the author of Leaving Lucy Pear and The Little Bride and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, One Story, Ploughshares, Slate, and more. Coeditor with Eleanor Henderson of Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today's Best Women Writers, Solomon was born and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.