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Veronica by Mary Gaitskill Review

Title: Veronica

Author: Mary Gaitskill

First published October 11, 2005

227 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780375421457 (ISBN10: 0375421459)

Rating: 3.41


In Mary Gaitskill’s newest novel, The Mare, readers follow a young Dominican girl named Velvet as she spends the summer in upstate New York with a white couple who are determined to save her from the tough inner-city life she leads. As Velvet learns to ride and care for the mare Fugly Girl, she forms an unlikely bond with the horse and with the couple’s troubled teenage daughter.

But when Velvet returns home, she finds herself struggling to reconcile the two vastly different worlds she inhabits. With exquisite prose and a deep understanding of human nature, Gaitskill has crafted a moving exploration of race, class, and the power of empathy to bridge divides.

The Mare is a masterful work of literary fiction that will stay with readers long after the final page.

About the Author

Mary Gaitskill is a talented American writer who has authored essays, short stories, and novels that have been featured in prestigious publications such as The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories.

She tied the knot with fellow writer Peter Trachtenberg in 2001 and has made her home in New York City since 2005. However, she has lived in various locations, including Toronto, San Francisco, and Marin County, CA.

Mary attended the University of Michigan, where she earned her B.A. and even won a Hopwood Award. In her essay titled “Revelation,” Mary Gaitskill shared her experience of briefly becoming a born-again Christian at the age of 21, only to lose her faith just six months later.

Editoral Review

Mary Gaitskill’s 2005 novel Veronica is a hauntingly beautiful masterpiece that delves into the themes of trauma, redemption, and love. A highly acclaimed writer, Gaitskill is known for exploring the darker corners of human experience, and Veronica is no exception.

This novel is a stunning exploration of the human psyche, woven together by Gaitskill’s lyrical prose and the poignancy of her characters. Veronica is a story about the aftermath of trauma and how it shapes one’s life.

The novel follows the protagonist, Alison, as she looks back on her youth and the summer she spent in New York City with her friend Veronica. Set in the 1980s, the novel paints a vivid portrait of a time and place where drugs, sex, and art collided.

Alison is a failed pianist and a former model, and her life has been defined by her relationship with Veronica, who was an enigmatic and complex person. Gaitskill’s writing is both beautiful and heartbreaking, and her characters are so vivid that they feel like real people.

Alison is a sympathetic protagonist, and readers can feel the depth of her pain and the scars that her trauma has left on her. Veronica is equally compelling, and Gaitskill masterfully makes her both alluring and terrifying.

The novel’s supporting cast is equally well-drawn, and they each add layers to the story’s themes. The novel’s strengths lie not only in its writing but also in its structure.

Gaitskill skillfully moves back and forth between the past and the present, creating a non-linear narrative that reveals the complexities of Alison’s character. The pacing is slow but deliberate, and Gaitskill’s attention to detail is admirable.

Although the novel is difficult at times, it is ultimately a deeply rewarding read. One of the novel’s limitations is that it can be too insular at times, focusing too much on the interior lives of its characters and neglecting the outside world.

However, this is a minor flaw in an otherwise exceptional novel. In conclusion, Veronica is a novel that will stay with readers long after they have finished it.

Gaitskill’s writing is masterful, and her characters are unforgettable. This is a novel that will appeal to anyone interested in exploring the complexity of human experience.

I highly recommend it. 4.5/5