Cover image for A dangerous woman
Title:
A dangerous woman
Author:
Morris, Mary McGarry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : [Penguin Group], 1991.
Physical Description:
358 pages ; 22 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780670836994

9780140272116
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Summary

Summary

Martha Horgan is not like other women. She stares. She has violent crushes on people. She can't stop telling the truth. Martha craves love, independence, and companionship, but her relentless honesty makes her painfully vulnerable to those around her: Frances, her wealthy aunt and begrudging guardian; Birdy, who befriends her, then cruelly rejects her; and Colin Mackey, the seductive man who preys on her desires. Confused and bitter, distyrusting even those with her best interests at heart, Martha is propelled into a desperate attempt to gain control over her own life.

A novel of unnerving suspense and terrifying insight into the perversities of passion, A Dangerous Woman is as devastatingly honest as Martha herself.


Summary

Martha Horgan is not like other women. She stares. She has violent crushes on people. She can't stop telling the truth. Martha craves love, independence, and companionship, but her relentless honesty makes her painfully vulnerable to those around her: Frances, her wealthy aunt and begrudging guardian; Birdy, who befriends her, then cruelly rejects her; and Colin Mackey, the seductive man who preys on her desires. Confused and bitter, distyrusting even those with her best interests at heart, Martha is propelled into a desperate attempt to gain control over her own life.

A novel of unnerving suspense and terrifying insight into the perversities of passion, A Dangerous Woman is as devastatingly honest as Martha herself.


Author Notes

Mary McGarry Morris (born February 10, 1943) is an American novelist, short story author and playwright. Her first book, Vanished, was published in 1988 after being written over a ten-year period. It was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Her 1991 novel, A Dangerous Woman, was named by Time Magazine as one of the Five Best Novels of the Year and as one of the best books of the year by American Library Association (ALA) Library Journal. As a result of A Dangerous Woman, Morris won the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award.

Her latest novel is entitled, The Last Secret. Morris was born in Meriden, Connecticut and currently resides in Andover, Massachusetts. She married Michael W. Morris and lives with him in Massachusetts. (Bowker Author Biography)


Mary McGarry Morris (born February 10, 1943) is an American novelist, short story author and playwright. Her first book, Vanished, was published in 1988 after being written over a ten-year period. It was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Her 1991 novel, A Dangerous Woman, was named by Time Magazine as one of the Five Best Novels of the Year and as one of the best books of the year by American Library Association (ALA) Library Journal. As a result of A Dangerous Woman, Morris won the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award.

Her latest novel is entitled, The Last Secret. Morris was born in Meriden, Connecticut and currently resides in Andover, Massachusetts. She married Michael W. Morris and lives with him in Massachusetts. (Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

This second novel corroborates the remarkable talent McGarry displayed in Vanished , her stunning story of a child kidnapped by two misfits. Here again her protagonist is a woman who is not ``normal,'' 32-year-old, emotionally unstable Martha Horgan. Neither Martha nor her small Vermont town have recovered from an incident in Martha's teens when she was sexually humiliated by a group of boys; ``that night in the woods'' is the leitmotif of her life. Now universally known as ``Marthorgan,'' achingly aware that she is different but unable to govern her inappropriate behavior, Martha is handicapped by an outspoken candor unfettered by tact or guile. Having lost her only job and the benevolent attention of the kindhearted woman who hired her, Martha is obliged to return to the home of her aunt, the young widow of the town's richest citizen, who grudgingly assumes responsibility for her high-strung niece. When a seedy, erratic but charming boozer comes on the scene, Martha's uncontrollable sexual longing and the aftermath of her obsessive love breed inevitable tragedy. McGarry's portrayal of Martha's damaged psyche is unerringly empathetic, honest and compassionate. She turns the same clear-sighted eye on the book's other characters, a richly human mixture, and even the less admirable sometimes redeem themselves with thoughtfulness toward the self-destructive Martha. In the end, as Martha falls through the safety net her impaired condition requires, the community confronts its culpability in failing to provide emotional succor. In this compelling, suspenseful narrative, Morris speaks to larger issues while limning an unforgettable portrait of a vulnerable woman. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; BOMC selection; movie rights to Am blin Entertainment; author tour. (Jan.) . (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Morris (Vanished, Audio Reviews, LJ 2/15/92) has created a powerful, disconcerting, and heartbreaking story of a woman who is most dangerous to herself, and reader Ruth Ann Phimister is unerringly adept at capturing Martha's pain, hope, honesty, and desperation. The people in her small Vermont hometown have always viewed Martha Horgan as strange; teenagers and children taunt her with cries of "Marthorgan!" as she walks down the street. She is always brutally honest, hounds those she likes with several phone calls a day, and has frequent angry outbursts. Her aunt, with whom she lives, has, unknown to Martha, subsidized her job at the dry cleaner. When she loses the job because of the lies of a co-worker, her isolation increases, which worsens her compulsive and ultimately self-destructive behavior. Phimister complements Morris's ability to immerse the listener completely in Martha's world so that her logic seems almost credible. An essential purchase for fiction collections.‘Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

This second novel corroborates the remarkable talent McGarry displayed in Vanished , her stunning story of a child kidnapped by two misfits. Here again her protagonist is a woman who is not ``normal,'' 32-year-old, emotionally unstable Martha Horgan. Neither Martha nor her small Vermont town have recovered from an incident in Martha's teens when she was sexually humiliated by a group of boys; ``that night in the woods'' is the leitmotif of her life. Now universally known as ``Marthorgan,'' achingly aware that she is different but unable to govern her inappropriate behavior, Martha is handicapped by an outspoken candor unfettered by tact or guile. Having lost her only job and the benevolent attention of the kindhearted woman who hired her, Martha is obliged to return to the home of her aunt, the young widow of the town's richest citizen, who grudgingly assumes responsibility for her high-strung niece. When a seedy, erratic but charming boozer comes on the scene, Martha's uncontrollable sexual longing and the aftermath of her obsessive love breed inevitable tragedy. McGarry's portrayal of Martha's damaged psyche is unerringly empathetic, honest and compassionate. She turns the same clear-sighted eye on the book's other characters, a richly human mixture, and even the less admirable sometimes redeem themselves with thoughtfulness toward the self-destructive Martha. In the end, as Martha falls through the safety net her impaired condition requires, the community confronts its culpability in failing to provide emotional succor. In this compelling, suspenseful narrative, Morris speaks to larger issues while limning an unforgettable portrait of a vulnerable woman. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; BOMC selection; movie rights to Am blin Entertainment; author tour. (Jan.) . (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Morris (Vanished, Audio Reviews, LJ 2/15/92) has created a powerful, disconcerting, and heartbreaking story of a woman who is most dangerous to herself, and reader Ruth Ann Phimister is unerringly adept at capturing Martha's pain, hope, honesty, and desperation. The people in her small Vermont hometown have always viewed Martha Horgan as strange; teenagers and children taunt her with cries of "Marthorgan!" as she walks down the street. She is always brutally honest, hounds those she likes with several phone calls a day, and has frequent angry outbursts. Her aunt, with whom she lives, has, unknown to Martha, subsidized her job at the dry cleaner. When she loses the job because of the lies of a co-worker, her isolation increases, which worsens her compulsive and ultimately self-destructive behavior. Phimister complements Morris's ability to immerse the listener completely in Martha's world so that her logic seems almost credible. An essential purchase for fiction collections.‘Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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