Rouge: A Novel (Paperback)

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Rouge: A Novel By Mona Awad Cover Image
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Staff Reviews


At the heart of this cerebral, hallucinogenic, and haunting new novel lies a relationship story of Mother and Daughter. And beauty and beauty products. Belle comes home to bury her mother, who accidentally fell into the ocean. It all begins innocently enough, but when Belle begins to pack up her mother's things, her mother's pair of red heels seem to guide her to an opulent, strange spa called Rouge. Trust in Mona Awad to take you on a bizarre, fairy-tale story that has seriously horrible things to say about the beauty industry. It’s also a wonderful story about miscommunications and missed moments between parent and child. Rouge never let me go - this is Mona Awad's best yet!

— Jason Kennedy

Mona Awad's mesmerizing new novel is a dark fairy tale of grief, love, obsession, memory, and the shadows we find in the mirror. Of Tom Cruise, secret worlds, and skin care. Rouge asks this heart-rending question: how does a mother's love both protect and break someone? A gripping book about the ways we'll destroy ourselves for a dream (a nightmare) of beauty.

— Chris Lee

This book stretches like a dream you can't wake up from. It centers around a woman who is grieving the death of her mother, with whom she had a very complex relationship. Both women share an obsession with beauty and skin care. The main character comes to California to manage her mother's remaining estate and large debts when she discovers that her mother was a part of very exclusive spa that promises advance treatments. Although it delves into topics that are feminine in nature such as beauty standards, this is largely a horror novel, and I would not recommend it to those who are very faint of heart. In her writing, there is a certain sinister energy, but it is as intriguing as it is devilish. This world Awad has created has many layers, and nothing is as it first seems to appear. It is revolutionary in its satire of the beauty industry, achieving what lesser books only scrape the surface of. 

— Greta Borgealt

Description


A National Bestseller
A USA TODAY Bestseller
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
A Goodreads Choice Award Finalist
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, Electric Literature, Tor, and Literary Hub

From the critically acclaimed author of Bunny comes a “Grimm Brothers fairy tale for the modern age” (Good Housekeeping) and “darkly funny horror novel” (NYLON) about a lonely young woman who’s drawn to a cult-like spa in the wake of her mother’s mysterious death. “Surreal, scary and deeply moving—like all the best fairy tales” (People).

A Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by Time, Vogue, The Guardian, Goodreads, Bustle, The Millions, LitHub, Tor, Good Housekeeping, and more!

For as long as she can remember, Belle has been insidiously obsessed with her skin and skincare videos. When her estranged mother Noelle mysteriously dies, Belle finds herself back in Southern California, dealing with her mother’s considerable debts and grappling with lingering questions about her death. The stakes escalate when a strange woman in red appears at the funeral, offering a tantalizing clue about her mother’s demise, followed by a cryptic video about a transformative spa experience. With the help of a pair of red shoes, Belle is lured into the barbed embrace of La Maison de Méduse, the same lavish, culty spa to which her mother was devoted. There, Belle discovers the frightening secret behind her (and her mother’s) obsession with the mirror—and the great shimmering depths (and demons) that lurk on the other side of the glass.

Snow White meets Eyes Wide Shut in this surreal descent into the dark side of beauty, envy, grief, and the complicated love between mothers and daughters. With black humor and seductive horror, Rouge explores the cult-like nature of the beauty industry—as well as the danger of internalizing its pitiless gaze. Brimming with California sunshine and blood-red rose petals, Rouge holds up a warped mirror to our relationship with mortality, our collective fixation with the surface, and the wondrous, deep longing that might lie beneath.

About the Author


Mona Awad is the author of the novels All’s WellBunny, and 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat GirlBunny was a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award and the New England Book Award. It was named a Best Book of 2019 by Time, Vogue, and the New York Public Library. It is currently being developed for film with Bad Robot Productions. All’s Well was a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. Awad’s forthcoming novel Rouge, is being adapted for film by Fremantle and Sinestra. This spring, Margaret Atwood named Awad her “literary heir” in The New York Times’s T Magazine. She teaches fiction in the creative writing program at Syracuse University and is based in Boston.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781982169701
ISBN-10: 1982169702
Publisher: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 384
Language: English