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Beschreibung des Verlags
Quin Archer is the revenge-loving queen of the reality TV show Payback, and has dedicated her life to confronting and outing the guilty. But long before she was a star, Quin was an angry teenage student at a private New England girls’ school, whose closest confidant was her art teacher, Agnes. But when Quin (then known as Heidi) turned to Agnes for help in a moment of desperate need, Agnes’s stunned response devastated them both. Payback is a powerful tale of #MeToo misunderstanding, from a time before there was language to contain it, and of the reverberations of our actions across the years. It is a remarkable book about the precise weight of our words and deeds from a writer whose moral vision is deeply rewarding in its subtlety.
Gordon's excellent latest (after There Your Heart Lies) contrasts the 1970s world of upper-class women's education with the #MeToo era. Agnes Vaughan and Heidi Stolz meet in the early '70s at a Rhode Island private girls' school where Agnes is a young idealistic art teacher and Heidi a troubled student. Agnes tries to give Heidi a confidence-building experience by arranging a trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. While viewing Guernica, Heidi flirts with a man who later takes her to his apartment and rapes her. When Heidi tells Agnes what happened, Agnes asks Heidi why she went to the man's apartment. Heidi, infuriated, runs away. Over time, Heidi reinvents herself as a fitness guru in Arizona, and Agnes moves to Rome and becomes a wife, mother, and art restorer. By 2018, Heidi, under the name Quin Archer, hosts a reality-TV show called Payback. In each episode, Quin exacts justice for someone who has been victimized. Still resentful and in need of a ratings boost, Quin devotes an episode to her rape, making Agnes the target of her revenge, calling her victim-blaming the "true violation," while a contrite Agnes reflects on how she was too young to be a role model. Gordon nails period details and vividly describes her characters' worlds, whether they are restoring a work of art or raising a daughter. This mesmerizing novel hits hard.