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The seduction / Joanna Briscoe.

By: Briscoe, Joanna (Novelist) [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020Description: 367 pages ; 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781408873502; 1408873508; 9781408873496; 1408873494.Subject(s): Family secrets -- Fiction | Mother and child -- Fiction | Women psychotherapists -- Fiction | Physician and patient -- Fiction | Camden (London, England) -- Fiction | Women psychotherapists | Physician and patient | Mother and child | Family secrets | England -- London -- CamdenGenre/Form: Psychological fiction. | Psychological fiction. | Fiction. | Domestic fiction. | Thrillers (Fiction) | Suspense fiction. | Thrillers (Fiction) | Domestic fiction.DDC classification: 823.92 Summary: "Beth lives in the tree-shrouded no-man's land by Camden Lock with her partner Sol and their daughter Fern. Life is peaceful, but Beth is troubled by increasing unease. It could be the uncertainty over her mother, who disappeared when Beth was a child. Or it could be her sense that Fern is keeping secrets from her. So she goes to therapy. Dr Tamara Bywater is there to help her patients. But what if the very person who is meant to be the solution becomes the most dangerous problem of all? And why is what's bad for us so enticing?"--Provided by publisher.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

An addictive new story of desire and obsession from the bestselling author of Sleep With Me

'A clever, nuanced, elegantly written exploration of obsession' SAGA

'Her prose is beguilingly good' ELIZABETH DAY
'Works in much the same way as an obsession ... you may wish to escape, but have already become addicted' ANITA SETHI, Daily Telegraph

Beth lives by Camden Lock with her partner Sol and their daughter Fern. Life is peaceful, but Beth is troubled by increasing unease. It could be to do with her mother's disappearance years ago. It could be her sense that Fern is keeping secrets from her.

So she goes to therapy. Dr Tamara Bywater is there to help her patients, and soon their sessions become the highlight of Beth's week. But Beth is in over her head before she realises that Tamara might not be all she seems...

What if the person you trust the most turns out to be the greatest danger of all?

"First published in Great Britain, 2020"--Title page verso.

"Beth lives in the tree-shrouded no-man's land by Camden Lock with her partner Sol and their daughter Fern. Life is peaceful, but Beth is troubled by increasing unease. It could be the uncertainty over her mother, who disappeared when Beth was a child. Or it could be her sense that Fern is keeping secrets from her. So she goes to therapy. Dr Tamara Bywater is there to help her patients. But what if the very person who is meant to be the solution becomes the most dangerous problem of all? And why is what's bad for us so enticing?"--Provided by publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

London artist Beth Penn, the protagonist of this elegant if uneven psychological thriller from Briscoe (Touched), becomes so anxious about the bond between her and daughter Fern as the girl approaches 13, the age at which her own mother walked out of her life, that she risks driving Fern away--one of the main reasons that her husband suggests therapy. Beth, who's secretly feeling somewhat stuck in their marriage and in her painting career, agrees. Beth swiftly falls under the spell of her therapist, Tamara Bywater, focusing less on the issues she came to explore than the mystery of just what lies behind Tamara's Mona Lisa smile and Beth's conviction that they are destined to become close friends--if not more. Tamara initially responds by saying all the right things about transference and professional boundaries, but leaves the door open a tantalizing crack, with disastrous results. After a powerful first half in which the relationship between the two dances largely in the realm of possibility, the plot becomes less convincingly messy. Nonetheless, credit Briscoe with provocatively plumbing a pair of complex women ready to risk all to feel electrically alive. Agent: Jonny Geller, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Aug.)

Booklist Review

This compelling, erotically charged novel from Briscoe (You, 2011; Sleep with Me, 2005) imagines a therapeutic relationship gone seriously awry. Beth, a middle-aged artist and children's book illustrator, lives in London with her partner, Sol, and their 12-year-old daughter Fern. Longing for a less predictable life, distraught that Fern has started to reject her, and wounded by the fact that her unstable mother walked away from their family when Beth was young, Beth is persuaded by Sol to seek psychological help. At first, therapist Tamara appears to be healing Beth's wounds, but when Tamara suggests that they quit seeing each other as patient and therapist and begin seeing each other socially, Beth descends into a murky stew of deception and desire. While Tamara might strike some as more plot device than believable character, Briscoe uses the contradiction between her advice and her actions to delve sharply into the fraught connections between mothers and daughters and the way those connections reverberate across generations. Spare but richly poetic language makes an insightful literary thriller.

Kirkus Book Review

When a woman falls under the thrall of an unscrupulous therapist, she must reconcile with the demons of her past in order to confront the present. Beth is drifting through life with some appearance of ease, a successful London artist with a precocious preteen daughter and a charmingly attentive and supportive husband. In fact, it's Sol's suggestion that she seek out therapy as Fern's 13th birthday approaches; Beth was abandoned by her own mother when she was 13, and he wants to help her navigate the inevitably painful memories that will arise. So Beth begins to meet with Dr. Tamara Bywater, but as therapy continues, she begins to feel more and more estranged from her daughter. Sol and Tamara both try to soothe her, reminding her that it's natural teen behavior to pull away and acknowledging Beth's own baggage when it comes to mothering, but soon, Beth and Fern are barely speaking. When Tamara begins to make friendly overtures, Beth is flattered and desperate to keep her attention. Slowly, she finds herself deeply fascinated by Tamara, open to a flirtation that will threaten everything she holds dear. Briscoe slowly and skillfully unspools the sexual and psychological tension to the breaking point; even as it becomes apparent to the reader that Tamara Bywater is disturbed and manipulative, we can't help but understand, for a time, Beth's clinging to the adventure and romance she offers. Buried at the heart of Beth's choices are her own fears that she is, in fact, unlovable, as proven by her mother's constant rejection. Like the smooth surface of an oil painting, the novel presents a slickly beautiful vision of fantasy, layered under with ferocious, stabbing brushstrokes of pain. A haunting novel that lays bare the ugliness of narcissism at its most extreme. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.