Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Five top dangerous mentors in fiction

Megan Abbott's latest novel is Dare Me.

Dare Me was named: One of Entertainment Weekly's Best Books of 2012, one of Salon's Ultimate Book Guide Choices for 2012, one of The Millions's Best Books of 2012, and NBC's The Today Show's Holiday Book Picks: Gillian Flynn's selection.

One of Abbott's five most dangerous mentors in fiction, as told to The Daily Beast:
The Portrait of a Lady
by Henry James

When Isabel Archer first meets Madame Merle, she is lured as if by a siren song to the sound of the older woman playing a piano sonata. Fatefully, James’s heroine places herself eagerly “under [the] influence” of the enigmatic and hypnotic woman who will eventually engineer Isabel’s catastrophic marriage. The scene in which Isabel learns of her mentor’s betrayal is heartbreaking. “What have you done with me?” she asks, horrified. In reply, Madame Merle slowly rises, “stroking her muff, but not removing her eyes from Isabel’s face. ‘Everything,’ she answered.”
Read about another novel on the list.

The Portrait of a Lady is among Susan Cheever's six favorite Massachusetts books and the six best books named by Elizabeth Edwards; it is also one of Tina Brown's five best books on reputation.

--Marshal Zeringue