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Extended Audio Sample The Barter, by Siobhan Adcock Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Siobhan Adcock Narrator: Meredith Mitchell Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Sure to be one of the most talked-about debut novels of the year, The Barter is a heart-stopping tale as provocative as it is suspenseful, about two conflicted women, separated by one hundred years and bound by an unthinkable sacrifice.

The Barter is a ghost story and a love story, a riveting emotional tale that also explores motherhood and work and feminism. Set in present-day Texas, and at the turn of the twentieth century, the novel follows two young mothers at the turning point of their lives.

Bridget has given up her career as an attorney to raise her daughter, joining a cadre of stay-at-home mothers seeking fulfillment in a quiet suburb. But for Bridget, some crucial part of the exchange is absent: something she loves and needs. And now a terrifying presence has entered her home—only nobody but Bridget can feel it.

On a farm in 1902, a young city bride takes a farmer husband. The marriage bed will become both crucible and anvil as Rebecca first allows, then negates, the powerful erotic connection between them. She turns her back on John to give all her love to their child. Much will occur in this cold house, none of it good.

As Siobhan Adcock crosscuts these stories with mounting tension, each woman arrives at a terrible ordeal of her own making, tinged with love and fear and dread. What will they sacrifice to save their families—and themselves? Readers will slow down to enjoy the gorgeous language then speed up to see what happens next in a plot that thrums with the weight of decision—and its explosive consequences.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Siobhan Adcock’s impressive debut is a spellbinding blend of historical fiction and ghost story, made all the more believable—and harrowing—by its realistic depiction of the tenuous balance between fulfillment and sacrifice within a marriage.”

    Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Motherhood is the destabilizing bond that nearly undoes two women linked across a century in Adcock’s suspenseful debut…Adcock builds tension with the ghost’s periodic visitations, but the novel’s real concern lies in the more mundane but no less weighty issue of how fear and self-doubt can corrode marriages and families.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Adcock’s unconventional ghost story features two young women separated by a century but bound by eternal questions of love and loyalty…Eerie and atmospheric, this psychological thriller will twist its way into readers’ psyches.”

    Booklist

  • “A good, old-fashioned ghost story that will make you jump when your walls creak…Her thoughtful story will keep readers reflecting on its themes once the shivers have passed.”

    BookPage

  • “Siobhan Adcock takes a very contemporary question—can women ever really ‘have it all’ or are trade-offs invariably exacted?—and examines it through the startling prism of a ghost story. Part comedy of manners, part historical fiction, and part genuinely creepy page-turner, The Barter casts a lively eye on the sacrifices, willing and involuntary, women make as they endeavor to weave together the heart’s various desires.”

    Leah Hager Cohen, author of No Book but the World

  • “Absolutely outstanding. The Barter is a ghost story haunted by love, a love story haunted by ghosts, and a literary mystery propelled by the unsaid secrets of marriage and motherhood. In Adcock’s world, you won’t know whether it’s fear, love, or outright beauty making your heart beat like a drum. You won’t know, and you won’t care at all. You’ll just have to keep reading.”

    Patrick Somerville, author of This Bright River and The Cradle

  • “Reading The Barter is like standing at the edge of an abyss: deep, dark, and terrifying, it is also a gripping and exhilarating story about fear, courage, and the demands and sacrifices of love. An enthralling page-turner of a novel that had me on the edge of my seat from the first page and continued to haunt me after the last.”

    Catherine Chung, author of Forgotten Country

  • The Barter is a delightful and utterly unique portrait of parenthood across the ages. Siobhan Adcock manages to express what is inexpressible about motherhood and marriage, deftly capturing the banal and the divine, the give and the take. As funny, profound, otherworldly, and terrifying as love itself, this is a debut novel not to be missed.”

    Amy Shearn, author of The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is the Ocean from Here

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About the Author

Siobhan Adcock received her MFA in fiction from Cornell University, and her short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines. She has worked as a writer and editor for Epicurious, Gourmet.com, iVillage.com, and the Knot, among other digital publishers. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.