Monday, October 10, 2016

What is Margot Livesey reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Margot Livesey, author of Mercury.

Her entry begins:
I’ve been reading Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. First published in 1952 when it won the National Book Award, Invisible Man remains an exhilarating and deeply painful book. After a series of misadventures, the unnamed narrator is forced to leave the southern college he loves and move to New York. He works in a paint factory for a disastrous day, ends up enduring electric shock treatment and then becomes a spokesman for a movement called the Brotherhood. Over and over he finds himself ...[read on]
About Mercury, from the publisher:
Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury—a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past—arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.

Mercury’s owner, Hilary, is a newcomer to town who has enrolled her daughter in riding lessons. When she brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, everyone is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she had harbored, and relinquished, as a young woman. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession.

Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv’s ambitions and his own myopia.

At once a tense psychological drama and a taut emotional thriller exploring love, obsession, and the deceits that pull a family apart, Mercury is a riveting tour de force that showcases this “searingly intelligent writer at the height of her powers” (Jennifer Egan).
Learn more about the book and author at Margot Livesey's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Flight of Gemma Hardy.

The Page 69 Test: Mercury.

Writers Read: Margot Livesey.

--Marshal Zeringue