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Damage by Josephine Hart Review

Title: Damage

Author: Josephine Hart

First published January 1, 1991

218 pages, Mass Market Paperback

ISBN: 9780804108416 (ISBN10: 0804108412)

Rating: 3.66



She was a successful businesswoman with a picture-perfect life. He was a charming artist with a dark past.

When their paths cross, their attraction is undeniable, and their affair is passionate and all-consuming. But as their bond deepens, secrets are revealed, and the cost of their love becomes increasingly high.

Set against the backdrop of the bustling city, Damage is a gripping tale of love, betrayal, and the dangerous power of passion. “Hauntingly beautiful.” THE GUARDIAN

About the Author

Josephine Hart, an Irish native, received her education in her home country. She worked as a director for Haymarket Publishing in London, but also produced a variety of West End plays, such as Frederico Garcia Lorea’s The House of Bernarda Alba, Noel Coward’s The Vortex, and Iris Murdoch’s The Black Prince.

Hart was married to Maurice Saatchi and had two sons. She is best known as the author of Damage.

Sadly, Hart passed away at the age of 69 after a battle with ovarian cancer in June of 2011.

Editoral Review

Josephine Hart’s Damage is a haunting novel that explores the destructive power of desire and the devastating consequences of acting on it. Published in 1991, the novel is a psychological thriller that delves deep into the complexities of human nature, weaving a web of deceit and betrayal that will leave readers breathless.

Hart, who was an Irish novelist, poet, and theater producer, was known for her dark, brooding works that dealt with themes of love, loss, and obsession. Damage, her debut novel, is a prime example of her talent for creating complex characters and intricate plots.

The novel is set in London and follows the story of Dr. Stephen Fleming, a successful politician and family man, who falls in love with his son’s fiancĂ©e, Anna Barton. What begins as a forbidden attraction soon spirals into a dangerous affair, threatening to destroy everything that Stephen holds dear.

Hart’s writing is elegant and precise, capturing the intensity of the characters’ emotions with aching clarity. The novel is a masterful exploration of desire, guilt, and the destructive power of secrets.

The intricate plot unfolds in a series of twists and turns, culminating in a shocking revelation that will leave readers reeling.

While the novel is set in the 1980s, its themes are timeless, exploring the darker aspects of human nature that are as relevant today as they were then. Hart’s portrayal of the characters is nuanced and complex, with each character struggling with their own demons and desires.

One of the strengths of the novel is its pacing, which is expertly managed, building tension and suspense with each chapter. The characters are well-developed, with Hart delving deep into their psyches, exploring their motivations and desires.

However, the novel does have some flaws. The character of Anna Barton, in particular, is somewhat underdeveloped, and her motivations are not always clear.

The novel also leans heavily on melodrama at times, with some of the plot twists feeling a little contrived.

Despite these flaws, Damage is a powerful novel that will leave readers haunted long after they finish reading it. For fans of psychological thrillers and literary fiction, this is a must-read.

In conclusion, Josephine Hart’s Damage is a beautifully crafted novel that explores the complexities of human desire with skill and precision. While it has some flaws, its strengths far outweigh them, making it a compelling and unforgettable read.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a thought-provoking, emotionally charged novel. 4 out of 5 stars.