A tightly wound, consuming tale for readers of Claire Keegan and Ian McEwan, about a 1950s American housewife who decides to get into the pool in her family’s apartment complex one morning and won’t come out.
by Jessica Anthony
Little, Brown & Co, July 2024
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)
It is an unseasonably warm Sunday in November 1957. Katheen, a college tennis champion turned Delaware housewife, decides not to join her flagrantly handsome life insurance salesman husband, Virgil, or their two young boys, at church. Instead, she takes a dip in the kidney-shaped swimming pool of their apartment complex. And then she won’t come out.
A consuming, single-sitting read set over the course of eight hours, The Most breaches the shimmering surface of a seemingly idyllic mid-century marriage, immersing us in the unspoken truth beneath. As Sputnik 2 orbits the earth carrying Laika, the doomed Soviet dog, Kathleen and Virgil hurtle towards each other until they arrive at a reckoning that will either shatter their marriage, or transform it, at last, into something real.
Jessica Anthony has been a butcher in Alaska, an unlicensed masseuse in Poland, and a secretary in San Francisco. In 2017, while writing Enter the Aardvark, Anthony was working as Bridge Guard, guarding the Maria Valeria Bridge between Sturovo, Slovakia and Esztergom, Hungary. Normally, she lives in Maine and teaches at Bates College.