About Exhibit Alexandra
Alexandra Southwood: a devoted mother, a talented artist and now a missing wife.
Marc's world is seemingly perfect, complete with two daughters and a loving wife. Until the day she vanishes.
Police, friends and family pull together to find Alex but their hopes quickly turn into a nightmare as the missing person case becomes a murder investigation.
But Marc refuses to accept his wife is dead and embarks on his own frantic search which leads him into the heart of the New York art world that so gripped his wife.
Meanwhile, in a locked room, news clips of the police investigation and the family's grief are played out in front of a terrified woman. It is Alex. As the weeks pass all she can do is torment herself with images of her family's life without her.
As Marc begins to piece together hidden parts of Alex's life, he begins to question whether he really knew her at all . . .
My review of Exhibit Alexandra
I have never quite read a book like Exhibit Alexandra. This book examines the link between life and art, the role of women in bringing up a family, the life work balance, and if women really can have it all. It questions the role of identity and reality. This book poses many questions and is a very different type of psychological thriller.
The novel revolves around Alexandra Southwood, a mother to two young children, artist, university lecturer and wife to academic, Marc. The novel focuses upon Alex's disappearance, as told from her perceived view of events, while being held hostage. As time slowly ticks by, the police, and Marc's family and friends, believe that Alex is dead, but Marc believes that she is still alive, and begins his own investigation to find his wife.
This book is incredibly difficult to review without giving anything away. It's also somewhat confusing at the very beginning, because we are not sure if what we are reading is reality. She tells us of what is happening to Marc, her children, and how he is feeling. I soon got used to this narrative style, and it did give a refreshing take on this genre.
Did I like Alexandra? No, I didn't, which really surprised me, but I did like Marc. The story gripped me, and although deliberately slow in pace, I enjoyed how Alex told the story and her perception of the world. This is an interesting concept, as she is an unreliable narrator. What she is telling us may not have actually happened.
The novel touches upon some sensitive and serious themes. The role of women in society and how they are perceived, plus how we see each other. Can women really have it all? their chosen career path and a family? This really is thought provoking stuff, and these themes, plus that of art reflecting reality, kept my interest and the need to plough through the book.
I really do feel that this is a marmite type of a book. It won't be for everyone, as it is very different. I liked this book because of the questions it raised and the fact that it was different. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.
Exhibit Alexandra is published by Michael Joseph on 8 March. It can be found on Amazon here.
With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.