Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

'Hausfrau' by Jill Alexander Essbaum: EW review

Posted on

Hausfrau

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
67630
publisher:
Random House
genre:
Novel

We gave it a B

This debut novel plays off of a well-worn literary archetype: the unhappy wife. Anna is an American expat living with her family in Switzerland who fights her alienation with a dose of adultery. Essbaum’s poetry background is clear in the graceful, economical prose, whether in descriptions of Swiss life and the quirks of language, or Anna’s sordid activities and increasingly detached state of mind. Like the Swiss trains Anna rides, her choices usher the story toward a conclusion at once completely foreseeable and utterly unavoidable. B

Comments