I bought this book at my new favorite book store, Books are Magic, in Brooklyn. My love for Magers and Quinn in Minneapolis has not faded, nor has my adoration for Content Bookstore in Northfield...but I'm beyond impressed with every aspect of Books are Magic. The indie selection is so smart/ interesting and the store hosts an event EVERY SINGLE NIGHT OF THE WEEK. If I didn't live in Minneapolis (I love Minneapolis--not leaving yet), I would live as close as possible to Books are Magic so that I could get lost in there when I feel vaguely anxious about the rest of my life.
My love for the store has grown since last week because the book I bought is SO GOOD. I don't know how to describe Putney and still make people want to read it-- the premise of the novel is disturbing, to say the least. An eleven year old girl, Daphne, falls in love with a famous, thirty year old man. This creepy dude grooms her for several years and then rapes her when she is thirteen. I'm aware this probably doesn't sound like a book anyone would want to read, but trust me when I say that Zinovieff's writing is genius. The story is told from three points of view (perpetrator, victim, and witness) and every aspect of the plot is finely tuned to our current political moment (#metoo). Ultimately, this is a story about a child's love for the man who abuses her.
If you need a little more encouragement to pick up Putney: Sofka Zinovieff is just a really cool lady. She splits her time between London and Athens and has a PhD in sociology. Zinovieff has two young daughters and I could tell that they were, at least in part, an inspiration for this novel. Please read this book and let me know what you think. And, if you haven't, visit Books are Magic.