×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Engagement: A Novel
     

The Engagement: A Novel

1.0 3
by Chloe Hooper
 

See All Formats & Editions

From the author of the highly acclaimed A Child’s Book of True Crime, “a brilliant, seductive, and unnerving first novel of sexual betrayal” (O, The Oprah Magazine), comes a dazzling, intense, and erotic second novel set in an isolated mansion in the country.

Liese Campbell has an engagement for the weekend: to stay with

Overview

From the author of the highly acclaimed A Child’s Book of True Crime, “a brilliant, seductive, and unnerving first novel of sexual betrayal” (O, The Oprah Magazine), comes a dazzling, intense, and erotic second novel set in an isolated mansion in the country.

Liese Campbell has an engagement for the weekend: to stay with Alexander Colquhoun, the handsome, well-mannered heir of an Australian pastoral dynasty, at his country seat some hours from Melbourne. Liese is English. She’s come to Australia to work at her uncle’s real-estate business and pay off her debts. Alexander has been looking for a place in the city. The luxury apartments Liese shows him have become sets for a relationship that satisfies their fantasies—and her financial problems. Both players understand the rules. Or so she thinks.

Across the ancient landscape they drive at dusk to his grand decaying mansion. Here Liese senses a change in Alexander and realizes that a different game has begun.

Chloe Hooper’s riveting and provocative new novel is a psychological thriller for the modern age, an exploration of the snares of money and love and the dark side of erotic imagination. A trap has been set, but how and why? And for whom?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A gothic tale, filled with brilliantly creepy details.”

“As in the best of Patricia Highsmith, it’s not entirely clear whether a crime is being committed at all…it’s a measure of the novel’s quality that re-reading does not resolve everything but drives the ambiguities deeper…The Engagement reminds us of the powers of fiction.”

“A book of coercion and sexual games, fantasy and, yes, feminism, for those who prefer their erotic literature less Fifty Shades of Grey and more Jane Eyre…This high-octane theatre is perversely satisfying, even as we succumb to its manipulation.”

“Hooper has crafted a terrific tale full of dark corners and dead-ends that leave the reader wondering what to believe. The result is a creepy collision between a psychological thriller and a very dark romance that has something for fans of either genre.”

“Chloe Hooper’s second novel is a complex psychological thriller that draws on the rich literary history of madwomen in the attic, from Jane Eyre and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ to Daphne du Maurier’s RebeccaThe Engagement is shot through with a deeply erotic charge without being explicity pornographic. It’s no Fifty Shades of Grey; its kicks, and kicks in the teeth, are much more subtle.”

“A probing analysis of the psychology of sex…Hooper has constructed a modern fairy tale…compelling, at times disturbing.”

“[The Engagement] deftly explores the power of money and property, romance and sex.”

“A chilling, compulsive read.”

“[A] seductive plot.”

“This beautifully crafted psychological thriller really got under my skin...Hooper’s achievement is to make us frightened for Liese and, increasingly, frightened of her, too.”

Financial Times (UK) - Suzy Hansen
“A gothic tale, filled with brilliantly creepy details.”
The GuardianReview (U.K.)
“As in the best of Patricia Highsmith, it’s not entirely clear whether a crime is being committed at all…it’s a measure of the novel’s quality that re-reading does not resolve everything but drives the ambiguities deeper…The Engagement reminds us of the powers of fiction.”
The Telegraph (U.K.)
“A book of coercion and sexual games, fantasy and, yes, feminism, for those who prefer their erotic literature less Fifty Shades of Grey and more Jane Eyre…This high-octane theatre is perversely satisfying, even as we succumb to its manipulation.”
Irish Examiner - Robert Dex
“Hooper has crafted a terrific tale full of dark corners and dead-ends that leave the reader wondering what to believe. The result is a creepy collision between a psychological thriller and a very dark romance that has something for fans of either genre.”
The Independent(U.K.)
“Chloe Hooper’s second novel is a complex psychological thriller that draws on the rich literary history of madwomen in the attic, from Jane Eyre and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca…The Engagement is shot through with a deeply erotic charge without being explicity pornographic. It’s no Fifty Shades of Grey; its kicks, and kicks in the teeth, are much more subtle.”
The Herald (U.K.)
“A probing analysis of the psychology of sex…Hooper has constructed a modern fairy tale…compelling, at times disturbing.”
Marie Claire (UK)
“[The Engagement] deftly explores the power of money and property, romance and sex.”
Woman & Home (UK) - Fanny Blake
“A chilling, compulsive read.”
Tatler (UK) - Sebastian Shakespeare
“[A] seductive plot.”
Reader's Digest (U.K.) - A.N. Wilson
“This beautifully crafted psychological thriller really got under my skin...Hooper’s achievement is to make us frightened for Liese and, increasingly, frightened of her, too.”
The Guardian Review (U.K.)
“As in the best of Patricia Highsmith, it’s not entirely clear whether a crime is being committed at all…it’s a measure of the novel’s quality that re-reading does not resolve everything but drives the ambiguities deeper…The Engagement reminds us of the powers of fiction.”
The Independent (U.K.)
“Chloe Hooper’s second novel is a complex psychological thriller that draws on the rich literary history of madwomen in the attic, from Jane Eyre and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ to Daphne du Maurier’s RebeccaThe Engagement is shot through with a deeply erotic charge without being explicity pornographic. It’s no Fifty Shades of Grey; its kicks, and kicks in the teeth, are much more subtle.”
The Australian - Geordie Williamson
“A deftly written, tonally smooth, technically adroit and penetrating study of psychological extremity. . . . Hooper shrouds the narrative in an uneasiness whose source is everywhere and nowhere simultaneously.”
The Age - Peter Pierce
“There is much to admire in The Engagement . . . a novel that is artfully and coldly controlled, one that is also disturbingly anti-erotic.”
The Advertiser (Australia) - Katharine England
“Hooper's writing is beautifully clean, clear and candid . . . The novel raises interesting
questions about the psychology of desire and of memory.”
Geelong Advertiser (Australia) - Maggie Linley
“A gripping read.”
Big Issue (Australia) - Sam Van Zweden
“A suspense thriller that trips the reader up every time answers seem about to appear . . . A gripping read. This haunting story provokes questions long after the final page.”
Canberra Times (Australia) - Sara Dowse
“To home in on the signs of the zeitgeist is the mark of a savvy writer. Even if unconscious, there's genius in nabbing a theme people have been gnawing away at deep in their collective psyches. Some writers, ahead of their time, are condemned to be appreciated posthumously. Others, hoping to cash in on a trend, can find themselves mired in cliché. But hitting the nail right on the head is a special gift. In this book Chloe Hopper displays it in spades . . . The Engagement is a psychological thriller . . . As well as creating an intriguing protagonist, Hooper writes with wit and aplomb.”
Townsville Bulletin (Australia) - Shari Tagliabue
“This psychological thriller is a taut, unnerving read, and Hooper's exquisitely rendered settings are the perfect stage for the tissue-like layers of awakening between victim and controller.”
Kirkus Reviews
Erotic games turn menacing and surreal when a woman who role-plays as a prostitute spends a weekend on an isolated Australian estate with her regular "client," and he tries to keep her there forever. In Melbourne, working in real estate, Liese Campbell starts a game with Alexander, one of her property seekers: She offers him adventurous sex in the rental homes they view, and he pays her. Liese isn't a prostitute, but she does owe money, and this fantasy apparently amuses them both. When Alexander offers Liese a fat fee for a weekend on his farm, she sees a chance to clear her debts. But once at Alexander's vast, remote, decaying Victorian mansion, the game changes. He claims to believe she really is a nymphomaniac/whore; he even has letters and photos of proof. But he loves her anyway and proposes. Trapped, frightened and no longer certain what is real, Liese is unsure whether to play along or run for it. Much darker than the recent wave of S&M lite, Australian writer Hooper's (Tall Man, 2009, etc.) novel seesaws between control and terror, honesty and insanity. Gothic twists and psychological turns lead through a hall of mirrors to a last opaque hairpin bend. Unreliable narrators don't come any more bewildering or unappealing than the couple in this clever, claustrophobic and disturbing chiller.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451675313
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
02/26/2013
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
753,883
File size:
3 MB

Related Subjects

What People are Saying About This

Jennifer Egan The New York Times Book Review A striking, ambitious first novel...Hooper forces open her material so that it resonates beyond itself, and she does this with...curiosity and instinctive grace.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer A stunning, literate debut that combines a taut story and a unique structure...It is Hooper's prowess and her keen grasp of human psychology that make the book so rewarding.

The New Yorker A witty and unsettling meditation on innocence and experience.

The Wall Street Journal Ironic, moving, full of keen perceptions and striking sentences...a tour de force.

Meet the Author

Chloe Hooper was born in Melbourne in 1973. She was educated at the University of Melbourne and as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University, New York. Her first novel, A Child’s Book of True Crime, was a New York Times Notable Book and short-listed for the Orange Prize. She lives in Australia. 

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Engagement 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Sflakes01 More than 1 year ago
I read the first chapter then read the last few pages......I was really glad I borrowed the book from the library cos it sucked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not what I expected. Dark in a creepy but not entertaining way. Regret purchasing.
CalvinK More than 1 year ago
Not much of a story. Did not hold any interest. Sorry I wasted my money.