BKMT READING GUIDES

Apple Tree Yard: A Novel
by Louise Doughty

Published: 2014-01-14
Hardcover : 336 pages
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An intelligent, erotically charged thriller with deep moral implications

Yvonne Carmichael, a renowned geneticist, public authority, and happily married mother of two, sits in the witness box. The charge is murder. Across the courtroom, not meeting her eye, sits her alleged accomplice. He ...

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Introduction

An intelligent, erotically charged thriller with deep moral implications

Yvonne Carmichael, a renowned geneticist, public authority, and happily married mother of two, sits in the witness box. The charge is murder. Across the courtroom, not meeting her eye, sits her alleged accomplice. He wears the beautiful pin-striped suit he wore on their first meeting in the Houses of Parliament, when he put his hand on her elbow and guided her to a deserted chapel, where she began to undress. As the barrister's voice grows low and sinuous, Yvonne realizes she's lost herself and the life she'd built so carefully to a man who never existed at all.
After their first liaison, Yvonne's lover tells her very little about himself, but she comes to suspect his secrecy has an explanation connected with the British government. So thrilled and absorbed is she in her newfound sexual power that she fails to notice the real danger about to blindside her from a seemingly innocuous angle. Then, reeling from an act of violence, Yvonne discovers that her desire for justice and revenge has already been compromised. Everything hinges on one night in a dark little alley called Apple Tree Yard.
Suspenseful, erotically charged, and masterfully paced, Louise Doughty's Apple Tree Yard is an intelligent psychological thriller about desire and its consequences by a writer of phenomenal gifts.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January 2014: A 52-year-old woman begins an affair with a mysterious man she meets by chance, and soon both she and the lover are on trial for murder. How does such a thing happen to a married woman of maturity and gravitas, a renowned scientist whose first encounter with her lover took place in the halls of Parliament, where she had just testified before a government committee? In this masterful novel by British journalist/novelist/playwright Louise Doughty, every page builds the case that itâ??s often the smartest among us who invent the most unreliable stories about ourselves, and how itâ??s possible--likely, even--for essentially good solid people to do bad and stupid things. Less about torturous plot twists than slow, dawning revelations--and mercifully short on moralizing--this intelligent, sexy, grown-up thriller explores the power of desire and its consequences. --Sara Nelson

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