The Most

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Pub Date Jul 30 2024 | Archive Date Sep 01 2024

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From “one of our most thrilling and singular innovators on the page” (Laura Van Den Berg), a tightly wound, consuming tale about a 1950s American housewife who decides to get into the pool in her family’s apartment complex one morning and won’t come out.
It is an unseasonably warm Sunday in November 1957. Katheen, a college tennis champion turned Delaware housewife, decides not to join her flagrantly handsome life insurance salesman husband, Virgil, or their two young boys, at church. Instead, she takes a dip in the kidney-shaped swimming pool of their apartment complex. And then she won’t come out.
A riveting, single-sitting read set over the course of eight hours, THE MOST breaches the shimmering surface of a seemingly idyllic mid-century marriage, immersing us in the unspoken truth beneath. As Sputnik 2 orbits the earth carrying Laika, the doomed Soviet dog, Kathleen and Virgil hurtle towards each other until they arrive at a reckoning that will either shatter their marriage, or transform it, at last, into something real.
From “one of our most thrilling and singular innovators on the page” (Laura Van Den Berg), a tightly wound, consuming tale about a 1950s American housewife who decides to get into the pool in her...

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ISBN 9780316576376
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 57 members

Featured Reviews

Who knew ~150 pages about a woman in a pool could pack such a punch. An in depth and intricate look into the lives of Kathleen and Virgil, their marriage, and their deceptions. The author did the *perfect* job of capturing those complex feelings we have towards marriage and the fleeting thoughts of “how would my life be if I had done these things differently”.
So many little tidbits interweaved between perspectives and it was done immaculately well.

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"The Most" has a plot I couldn't resist -- a woman skips church one morning with her husband and kids, goes for a swim in their apartment complex pool and refuses to come out. Throughout this short story you come to know these characters more intimately than you might expect to in a 400-page book; their motivations, desires, character flaws and search for meaning. This read will cause you to think, and to be jealous of how amazing Jessica Anthony writes. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. #TheMost #NetGalley

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I received an ARC of The Most via Netgalley prior to its publication!

And I’m so glad that I did.
This novella follows Kathleen and Virgil, a married couple living with their two boys in a Delaware apartment complex when one day, inexplicably, Kathleen doesn’t want to get out of the pool.
My first thought was that this would be an outrageous unhinged woman thing (like REALLY would not get out of the pool), but instead it was a domestic drama set in the 1950s, alternating perspectives from husband and wife, expertly crafting a story about the narratives we tell ourselves about the choices we make.
I loved the way that Jessica Anthony told the same stories from both Virgil’s and Kathleen’s perspectives. The way they explained some of the same people with acute precision, but from such different lenses. Each character felt entirely different.
The way Jessica Anthony explored power dynamics and the male/female roles and expectations was— chefs kiss— 👩‍🍳💋
I loved this so much!

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The Most is a tightly crafted and powerful novella. Set in the 1950s, this story follows Kathleen and Virgil, a married couple who have hit a crossroads on an unusually warm November day.

I loved the way that this story unfolded. Each chapter alternates between the main characters, and you learn more about their pasts as well as how they view their marriage. Both have secrets, regrets, and genuine affection for each other. Even though this is a portrait of a complicated relationship set over 70 years ago, it still feels fresh and relatable.

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention how great the cover design is, and how much I'm looking forward to acquiring a physical copy of this to read again when it's released in June '24. I highly recommend this quick and satisfying read and can't wait to read more by Jessica Anthony.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown and Company for providing the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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I didn't know what to expect with this story but I was immediately enthralled!

Yes, this is a story of Kathleen, a former college tennis champ, mother of two children living in an apartment complex with her husband. Instead of going to church this Sunday she decides to get in the pool and she will not come out!

But it is SO MUCH MORE. Somehow, Jessica Anthony seamlessly blends in the story of Kathleen, her husband Virgil, his father and all of their lives. It's fascinating and fast moving. It's a car wreck you can't look away from, it's a television show that you can't stop talking's a work of art.

If you love literature, great stories and uncommon themes, the Most is a book for you!
#littlebrownandcompany #littlebrown #themost #jessicaanthony

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A story of domestic unhappiness being slowly uncovered , of buried secrets between a married couple coming to light, of an unfulfilled wife finally reaching a breaking point. Very short, takes place over the course of one day, hits all the right emotional tones and keeps up the tension throughout . Reminded me of Rachel Ingalls . Delightful

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Pristine mid-century Americana vibes! 1950s housewife Kathleen stays home from church one day, saying she feels unwell. When her husband, Virgil, returns home, she is in their apartment complex’s pool and refuses to get out. The story takes place over the course of a single day, but as we unravel what led Kathleen to the pool, we’re treated to a rich backstory that reveals the secrets Kathleen and Virgil are each hiding.

I absolutely loved this book and the way it explored the yearning beneath the surface of a middle class, mid-century marriage. Both main characters are flawed and complex. The author’s attention to detail made me feel like I had travelled back in a time machine. Overall, this whole story was achingly beautiful, and I loved spending time in this story.

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Jessica Anthony harnessed two lives, thoughts, actions, and desires in 150 pages. The Most is a powerful novel with Kathleen and Virgil at the center, a middle-class couple living in Delaware. Neither is happy or satisfied, and each POV section explains why. The novel defies the assumed bored housewife theory. Anthony gives so much more, explaining two lives in an afternoon. A more potent punch in the gut isn't possible.

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book. The book will be published in July.

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