For fans of Lisa Halliday and Susan Choi, The Anniversary is a simmering page-turner about an ascendant writer, the unresolved death of her husband, and what it takes to emerge on her own
Novelist J.B. Blackwood is on a cruise with her husband, Patrick, to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Her former professor, film director, and cult figure, Patrick is much older than J.B.. When they met, he seemed somehow ageless, as all gods appear in the eyes of those who worship them. But now his success is starting to wane and J.B. is on the cusp of winning a major literary prize. Her art has been forever overseen by him, now it may overshadow his.
For days they sail in the sun, nothing but dark water all around them. Then a storm hits and Patrick falls from the ship. J.B. is left alone, as the search for what happened to Patrick – and the truth about their marriage – begins.
Propulsive and fiercely intelligent, The Anniversary is exquisitely written with a swift and addictive plot. It’s a novel that asks: how legible, in the mind of the writer, is the line between reality and plot? How do we refuse the people we desire? And what is the cost, to ourselves, to others and to our art, if we don’t?
BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, DEEPLY TROUBLING PSYCHOLOGICAL NOVEL
One of the most profoundly sad books I have ever read. I'm not sure what to make of it and equally unsure about recommending it to anyone.