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The Hare is an affecting portrait of Rosie Monroe, of her resilience and personal transformation under the pin of the male gaze. Raised to be obedient by a stern grandmother in a blue-collar town in Massachusetts, Rosie accepts a scholarship to art school in New York City in the 1980s. One morning at a museum, she meets a worldly man twenty years her senior, with access to The Hare is an affecting portrait of Rosie Monroe, of her resilience and personal transformation under the pin of the male gaze. Raised to be obedient by a stern grandmother in a blue-collar town in Massachusetts, Rosie accepts a scholarship to art school in New York City in the 1980s. One morning at a museum, she meets a worldly man twenty years her senior, with access to the upper crust of New England society. Bennett is dashing, knows that “polo” refers only to ponies, teaches her which direction to spoon soup, and tells of exotic escapades with Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson. Soon, Rosie is living with him on a swanky estate on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, naively in sway to his moral ambivalence. A daughter—Miranda—is born, just as his current con goes awry forcing them to abscond in the middle of the night to the untamed wilderness of northern Vermont. Almost immediately, Bennett abandons them in an uninsulated cabin without a car or cash for weeks at a time so he can work a teaching job, that may or may not exist, at an elite college. Rosie is forced to care for her young daughter alone and to tackle the stubborn intricacies of the wood stove, snowshoe into town, hunt for wild game, and forage in the forest. As Rosie and Miranda’s life gradually begins to normalize, Bennett’s schemes turn malevolent, and Rosie must at last confront his twisted deceptions.


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The Hare is an affecting portrait of Rosie Monroe, of her resilience and personal transformation under the pin of the male gaze. Raised to be obedient by a stern grandmother in a blue-collar town in Massachusetts, Rosie accepts a scholarship to art school in New York City in the 1980s. One morning at a museum, she meets a worldly man twenty years her senior, with access to The Hare is an affecting portrait of Rosie Monroe, of her resilience and personal transformation under the pin of the male gaze. Raised to be obedient by a stern grandmother in a blue-collar town in Massachusetts, Rosie accepts a scholarship to art school in New York City in the 1980s. One morning at a museum, she meets a worldly man twenty years her senior, with access to the upper crust of New England society. Bennett is dashing, knows that “polo” refers only to ponies, teaches her which direction to spoon soup, and tells of exotic escapades with Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson. Soon, Rosie is living with him on a swanky estate on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, naively in sway to his moral ambivalence. A daughter—Miranda—is born, just as his current con goes awry forcing them to abscond in the middle of the night to the untamed wilderness of northern Vermont. Almost immediately, Bennett abandons them in an uninsulated cabin without a car or cash for weeks at a time so he can work a teaching job, that may or may not exist, at an elite college. Rosie is forced to care for her young daughter alone and to tackle the stubborn intricacies of the wood stove, snowshoe into town, hunt for wild game, and forage in the forest. As Rosie and Miranda’s life gradually begins to normalize, Bennett’s schemes turn malevolent, and Rosie must at last confront his twisted deceptions.

30 review for The Hare

  1. 5 out of 5

    Claire Fuller

    With The Hare, Melanie Finn has written powerful story of female perseverance, strength, and resilience. This book has rare qualities: beautiful writing while being absolutely unputdownable, and I will be pressing it into the hands of every reader I know.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog:https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐡𝐢𝐦, 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐭 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐯𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐬, 𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐫, 𝐬𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐬 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐧. I devoured this novel and it certainly sat heavy in my gut. Standing witness to a young woman who hasn’t had the time nor experience to fully form as a person, to fill her space in the world, to have the freedom to ‘become’, is nothing short of horrific. As an early reader there wasn’t anyone to discuss it with and I couldn’t wait to share via my blog:https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐡𝐢𝐦, 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐭 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐯𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐬, 𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐫, 𝐬𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐬 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐧. I devoured this novel and it certainly sat heavy in my gut. Standing witness to a young woman who hasn’t had the time nor experience to fully form as a person, to fill her space in the world, to have the freedom to ‘become’, is nothing short of horrific. As an early reader there wasn’t anyone to discuss it with and I couldn’t wait to share it. We meet Rosie Monroe when she falls for a worldly, upper crust, dashing New England man, twenty years her senior, twenty years the wiser. Rosie is hungry for experience, desperate to escape the confines of her strict grandmother “Gran’s” house and too young to realize what trap she is setting for herself. Led by her passions and her dream of being an artist, far from the solid, frugal, bland life her grandmother envisions for her, she applies to art school in New York City during the 1980’s and wins a scholarship. Once there, she begins to feel as lonely as before, not quite fitting into the scene of the ‘hipper’ students but finds something far more thrilling to occupy her. She might not make powerful art statements, nor create compelling, important performance art but she draws the eye of a hulking, fascinating man. Seduced and possessed by the charms of Bennett when she meets him at the Museum of Modern Art, Rosie finally has someone to fill her loneliness. With his world offered on a plate she expands her own and shadowed by his hulking, strong presence she feels far more alive than she ever felt in the subdued loveless life beside her Gran. Naturally, such passions blind Rosie to the inconsistencies in Bennet’s life. His meaty opinions, his sense of entitlement, the strength and power she observes in the very manner he occupies his body, and asserts himself in every situation, particularly where she’d be cowed, assures her of his importance. But beneath the surface, his criticisms bite, infect, aren’t necessarily for ‘the betterment’ of her being. At the beginning, nothing is more alluring than his desire for her, his terror that Rosie might leave him. What is more flattering than another’s need for us when we’re young and lonely? Like a hooked fish, she lives at the mercy of his whims, which isn’t bad at all when she is so unsure of herself. She feels special, consumed by the pleasures of their lovemaking, feeling lucky she was chosen to spend her summer by the sea with this amazing man who runs in circles of famous people and understands the world of wealth and all it’s secret surfaces. Before long, they are living together and she gets to play at being an artist while staying in a boathouse on his wealthy friend’s estate. But like all dreams, it doesn’t last. She is pregnant and Bennet’s logic is full of holes, as much as his sentences. It doesn’t change her love for him, like a violence. Things sour after their baby girl, Miranda, is born and Bennet is in trouble with his ‘business’, forcing the little family to an isolated cabin in Vermont. Here, life is savage, raw compared to the luxury and comfort of the boathouse. A cold, infested house, with a brutish, strange neighbor next door that doesn’t much warm up to strangers. As Bennet begins to spiral, he spends more time away with his new job leaving Rosie to figure how to survive their crude conditions. His money comes and goes, giving them just enough until the cupboards are bare. His tenderness is a ghost of a feeling, the only thing giving her body and soul warmth now are the woodstove she spends endless, sleepless nights feeding. Once again, she is invisible in isolation but here, she transcends her former, girlish self. Rosie might become something a man can’t strip to the bone with pretty words, cultivating a strength beyond anything Bennet can offer. Rosie represents a lot of women in varying stages, to my way of thinking. Soft, naïve, hungry for fulfillment, love, to be seen, sacrificing ambition and dreams for what seems like a gift. Later, a waking dreamer trapped in a nightmare of their own stupid making and as she ages and finds strength to raise their girl, a fierce mother. I loved this story, but it is dark, a painful shedding. Life, even at it’s bleakest, has it’s surprises and help comes from unexpected places. She grows, she has no choice but to feel the bruises of her mistakes. It’s when you have to scratch for survival that you find your backbone. There is so many painful awakenings in this novel. Readers will judge her, for her blindness, it’s easy to do from the safety of distance, it’s what women face from the time they are born, these incriminating missteps dragging behind us like a rotting dead horse. We always pay with a pound of flesh. Yes, read it. Can’t wait to see what others think. Publication Date: January 26th 2021 OUT TODAY!!!! Two Dollar Radio

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel S

    The Hare is a beautifully written meditation on womanhood, resilience, and trauma, but it didn't always resonate with me. As a naive teenager, Rosie begins a relationship with the older and richer Bennett. Then, barely out of her teen years and caring for their infant daughter, Rosie is left in a decrepit shack in the Vermont winter to fend for herself for two months while Bennett disappears. With the help of her neighbour Billy, one of the only women Rosie has a positive relationship with in th The Hare is a beautifully written meditation on womanhood, resilience, and trauma, but it didn't always resonate with me. As a naive teenager, Rosie begins a relationship with the older and richer Bennett. Then, barely out of her teen years and caring for their infant daughter, Rosie is left in a decrepit shack in the Vermont winter to fend for herself for two months while Bennett disappears. With the help of her neighbour Billy, one of the only women Rosie has a positive relationship with in the book, she learns to survive in the woods and establish herself and an independent woman and mother. Rosie's view of womanhood seems to be based on the idea that women are, primarily, the victims of men, which she says during a transphobic rant. The book itself largely agreed; men are predators and women are victims and it isn't interested in taking a nuanced look at these dynamics. I loved the writing and enjoyed the story Finn tells, but I docked a star for flimsy gender politics.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Royce Houthuijzen

    I was so pleased that Melanie Finn returned to the beautiful writing she displayed in her first novel, The Gloaming. This was a story of one woman’s journey to find her self and true identity on her own terms. We first meet Rosie as a young woman fleeing the home where her grandmother raised her. She makes many missteps and choices that change the course of her life, but as her story unfolds, she becomes stronger both mentally and physically. The hare is a feminist story. What it means to be a wo I was so pleased that Melanie Finn returned to the beautiful writing she displayed in her first novel, The Gloaming. This was a story of one woman’s journey to find her self and true identity on her own terms. We first meet Rosie as a young woman fleeing the home where her grandmother raised her. She makes many missteps and choices that change the course of her life, but as her story unfolds, she becomes stronger both mentally and physically. The hare is a feminist story. What it means to be a woman. All the choices and paths women choose; whether to have and raise children or have careers, or a combination of the two. Women face obstacles men never do. Women are judged by their appearances and more harshly as they age. When we meet Rosie as a middle-aged woman, she is now Rose. Her daughter, Miranda is grown and living her own life. Rose finds a new path for herself. Finn expertly describes Rose, with all her flaws in a way that is realistic and honest without being overly sentimental. I highly recommend this novel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    One of those rare, for me anyway, books that can’t be put down and requires one day of reading (once I got into the first thirty pages). This novel travels all over with ideas and plot. It is reviewed as a “thriller”, but I kept forgetting that until bits of thriller elements popped up. I really love the first half of this novel, but it all changed in tone in the last half. This is my first Finn novel. Finn is a talented writer, the sentences were lovely and smooth.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christina Clancy

    There's a lot I liked about this book. The plot raced along--there was no way I wasn't going to finish it-- and I felt that the author knew a lot about class differences between the very upper and very lower classes. I felt Bennet was a fascinating anti-hero, and a little bit of energy was sucked out of the novel when he was no longer in it, even if it was bad energy (although it was fascinating how he became conspicuous in his absence, which is in keeping with his character). His dialogue was t There's a lot I liked about this book. The plot raced along--there was no way I wasn't going to finish it-- and I felt that the author knew a lot about class differences between the very upper and very lower classes. I felt Bennet was a fascinating anti-hero, and a little bit of energy was sucked out of the novel when he was no longer in it, even if it was bad energy (although it was fascinating how he became conspicuous in his absence, which is in keeping with his character). His dialogue was terrific. Overall, I found this a very entertaining read. My only quibble is that Finn might trust her reader to come to their own conclusions (which are easily drawn here) about issues with men and masculinity and sexuality. I also don't know that the reader's eye needs to be trained on every disturbing visual from the writer's notebook. She's clearly perceptive and observant, qualities I truly appreciate... to a point. I found myself skimming a bit through the last third. Then again, this is a novel that was clearly written with great care. Book clubs could have fascinating discussions about the themes of this novel. It's so easy for a young woman to be seduced, and Finn explores the darkest consequences.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Day

    Good book. Rosie was a great character. Bennett was not. The ending was a bit...unexpected.

  8. 5 out of 5

    reading is my hustle

    this tried to be too many things (view spoiler)[ issues touched on: classism, the importance of art, feminism, child abuse, meth, pedophilia, transphobia, politics, & more (hide spoiler)] but the plot was a good one & well-paced. i was bothered by certain details (view spoiler)[applying diaper cream to labial folds, saggy balls... (hide spoiler)] & their visuals pulled me out of the story. the pointed barbs directed at dr. christine blasey ford, nancy pelosi, and hillary clinton just pissed me this tried to be too many things (view spoiler)[ issues touched on: classism, the importance of art, feminism, child abuse, meth, pedophilia, transphobia, politics, & more (hide spoiler)] but the plot was a good one & well-paced. i was bothered by certain details (view spoiler)[applying diaper cream to labial folds, saggy balls... (hide spoiler)] & their visuals pulled me out of the story. the pointed barbs directed at dr. christine blasey ford, nancy pelosi, and hillary clinton just pissed me off. it will always be too soon.

  9. 5 out of 5

    hayden

    Agh! A delightful build (though I'm still struggling to make sense of a few pieces/their place in the larger narrative). Agh! A delightful build (though I'm still struggling to make sense of a few pieces/their place in the larger narrative).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Doreen

    1/15/2021 I have complicated feelings about Rosie as a young woman, but once she stops being such a sucker, The Hare gets really, really good. Full review tk at CriminalElement.com. 1/15/2021 I have complicated feelings about Rosie as a young woman, but once she stops being such a sucker, The Hare gets really, really good. Full review tk at CriminalElement.com.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Erin Poter

    I wish I knew what the fuss what about, but honestly, this book made absolutely no sense. It felt like every kind of social issue was crammed into a single book, with no true storyline that made any sense. Maybe it just went over my head, but I definitely would not recommend this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Kolber

    I am simply in love with Melanie Finn's writing! Smart, atmospheric, the pull of a literary thriller with meat and heart. There were so many lovely sentences and passages, full of lyrical language and metaphor, it's like reading poetry in prose. Rosie is an amazingly complex character, too, and Finn captures her porous self so well here. In the beginning, we are coming-of-age with Rosie as she struggles to find her voice, her artistic vision, and her Self (capital S) in a world dominated by men- I am simply in love with Melanie Finn's writing! Smart, atmospheric, the pull of a literary thriller with meat and heart. There were so many lovely sentences and passages, full of lyrical language and metaphor, it's like reading poetry in prose. Rosie is an amazingly complex character, too, and Finn captures her porous self so well here. In the beginning, we are coming-of-age with Rosie as she struggles to find her voice, her artistic vision, and her Self (capital S) in a world dominated by men--men's desires and needs have always come first, and Rosie is no stranger to that sublimation. But as the book moves through time, we see Rosie gaining strength, getting strong in the woods where she hunts and forages to literally keep herself and her infant daughter alive (left there by the dick of a boyfriend, Bennett). The book takes some twists and turns, and, ultimately, Rosie grows older, hardened yet still a loving soul, just like Finn writes of the trees on the barbed wire fence line in the forest: “The trees absorbed the cruel wire, grew straight and tall, regardless." (p. 157). What an apt metaphor for women in this world: we absorb the traumas, the violence, the sleights to our sex, and grow strong, regardless. I highly recommend this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    A real accomplishment -- this literary thriller is feminist, supple and brave all at once. Our main character, Rosie, walks the all-too-familiar tightrope of obligation to men, to the patriarchy, to society. A page-turner with teeth -- and sharp ones, at that.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Traver

    I have read Melanie Finn’s novels, The Hare and The Gloaming and in both, an older man latches onto a younger woman. Then he manipulates her, uses her, twists her into his desired shape and eventually abandons her. This makes me wonder if Finn herself has faced this fate, but it seems more likely that, as a feminist writer, she wants to make a statement about how men use their women. There’s this: “She did what women do and have always done, because the laundry still needs to be folded, the chil I have read Melanie Finn’s novels, The Hare and The Gloaming and in both, an older man latches onto a younger woman. Then he manipulates her, uses her, twists her into his desired shape and eventually abandons her. This makes me wonder if Finn herself has faced this fate, but it seems more likely that, as a feminist writer, she wants to make a statement about how men use their women. There’s this: “She did what women do and have always done, because the laundry still needs to be folded, the children collected from school or the fields or the workhouse, the dinner has to be made or gathered or harvested or butchered. Women do what needs to be done, they do what is expected, the obligation of their gender.” And there’s this: "Men mistake the act of submission for the condition of submission. But they don’t know that women split themselves right down the middle.” This is the story of Rosie, an orphan raised by her cold, neglectful grandmother in a boarding house. When Gran steps out, one of the male boarders has his way with little Rosie. To escape her grim home, Rosie applies for entry to Parsons School of Design and receives a full scholarship. While staring at masterpieces in MOMA one Sunday morning, she is spotted by Bennet Kinney, super-WASP and 20 years her senior. He passes himself off as an art and antiques dealer, but we know better: he’s a drug dealer. An older friend of the family (who knows what a low-life Bennett is) urges Rosie to leave him, go back to school and continue her life; he even lends her money to get an abortion. At the clinic, she suddenly bolts -- one of many fatal mistakes -- and she returns to the lying, thieving Bennett and gives birth to their daughter, Miranda. They later make an escape, one step ahead of the police, and he takes her to a remote cabin in northern Vermont, very close to the Canadian border. There she is, stuck in a cabin with no heat, no insulation and no hot water. You want to scream at her: Leave now! Meanwhile, dishonest, lying Bennett comes and goes as he pleases. The only saving grace for Rosie is a kind-hearted neighbor who takes pity on her. But she learns to survive: hunting, butchering deer, starting the fire in the wood stove, taking her daughter to school, paying for field trips and private lessons, getting a job as a caregiver in a nursing home -- the lowest of low work. Somehow she learns accounting and ekes out a living. For a mother-daughter pair depicted as very close (just the two of them in a rustic Vermont cabin) it is hard to believe that Miranda could be so cold and rejecting toward her mother years later. Miranda seems stunted and hardly believable, but that is my only quibble with this book. Finn is very adept at describing the landscape of Vermont, and the book flap says she lives “in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.” She is clearly in love with her surroundings. This is the second book I’ve read by Finn, but I now want to go back and read all of her work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brett Benner

    “There is no sharp end of life, Rose thought. There isn’t even direction-no culmination of knowledge or grand arrival. Every moment is continually being lived and removed. There’s no closure, no past. There’s nothing tidy or succinct. Even forgiveness is just emotions shapeshifting. It’s all overflow, a chaos of conflict and definition. It’s just constant wading.” Today is #internationalwomansday and I thought it only appropriate to highlight this book which we read this month for my IRL book cl “There is no sharp end of life, Rose thought. There isn’t even direction-no culmination of knowledge or grand arrival. Every moment is continually being lived and removed. There’s no closure, no past. There’s nothing tidy or succinct. Even forgiveness is just emotions shapeshifting. It’s all overflow, a chaos of conflict and definition. It’s just constant wading.” Today is #internationalwomansday and I thought it only appropriate to highlight this book which we read this month for my IRL book club. I’ve never read anything by Melanie Finn before but I was really blown away by this. Rosie Monroe, was orphaned at a young age, raised by her Grandmother and is accepted into a prestigious art school where one day at a gallery she meets an older, charming man. The quintessential WASP, Bennett Kinney, plays Henry Higgins to her Eliza Doolittle, introducing her into the world of money, dry martinis, and very stiff upper lips. A place where the bathroom is called the W.C. and deception Is synonymous with keeping up appearances. Events begin to transpire that Finn unravels so as a reader you begin to become almost as confused as Rosie, while your instincts are screaming at this girl to run. The book charts this young girl as she becomes a woman. A mother. A survivor. A warrior. And through the past and the present Rose finds her own voice, and with great insight defines repeatedly the divisions between the genders and the effect it has on women beginning in childhood. At one point she reflects: “Women had holes and men believed it was their right to fill them. Not content with the physical holes, they tried to make existential ones. Drilling, drilling, drilling”. It would feel too reductive to label this as a feminist thriller, but there is an underlying menace that pervades large swaths of the story universally by one man after another. I’m not going to lie: at times it’s a brutal, unforgiving read, and potentially full of triggers, which if you have questions about please don’t hesitate to send a message and ask, but it’s a book I couldn’t put down, and certain to provoke conversation. I hope more people discover this, as I think it’s a hidden gem of 2021 and worthy of wide discussion.

  16. 4 out of 5

    H Miller

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was marketed to me as a feminist thriller and I had a few issues with the story matching that, but it did make me think and delve into my thoughts on what makes a feminist and what makes a successful life woman or not. Rose does take control of her life, but only once she is forced to. She has no other choice but to fight for survival in Vermont or freeze or starve with her child. Plot spoilers ahead. I dont think she would have been able to do this without the help of her neighbor. I This book was marketed to me as a feminist thriller and I had a few issues with the story matching that, but it did make me think and delve into my thoughts on what makes a feminist and what makes a successful life woman or not. Rose does take control of her life, but only once she is forced to. She has no other choice but to fight for survival in Vermont or freeze or starve with her child. Plot spoilers ahead. I dont think she would have been able to do this without the help of her neighbor. I think she also had other options where she could have left that house and Bennett wouldn't have been able to find her again. I think the plot point that most disappointed me was her relationship with Miranda as an adult. Miranda grew up poor, but taken care of and loved by her mother and yet in her success she doesnt help her mother at all. I dont think she was developed enough as a character for me to understand why she abandons her mom and doesnt help her. I understand why she'd want to know more about her dad, but there too Rose doesnt share anything with her as a means of protecting her child, but then taking the burden onto herself to run from her past. Finally, in the end she chooses to run meaning she wont have contact with her daughter anymore to be a free woman. It was confusing to me that after working so hard to establish herself, work, raise a child, now she chooses to become a new person instead of owning the strength and wisdom that she has developed. Side note, the storyline of Nick as a young male, also in a bad circumstance and looking for help, she throws money at him just as Hobie had done to her. Money still leaves him alone and unsure and now she once again is destitute. Was this supposed to be a big moment for her where she is selfless or is this another example that she will never have an advantage in this life for herself, but give all she has to others. Does this make her a strong female? Finally, the very end did not make me feel that she was free and happy, but instead that she had just gone off the rails and after all this time, still hadn't let go of the past and her lack of power over those around her.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    The Hare is the story of Rosie, a young art student in New York City in 1983, who falls in love with Bennett, an older man from a wealthy WASP-ish family in New England. When Rosie gets pregnant, she drops out of school to be with Bennett. After an incident forces them to Bennett’s family cottage in Vermont, Rosie starts her new life and becomes friends with her next door neighbor. I read this for my 𝘽𝙞𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙡 𝘽𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙞𝙤𝙥𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙨 book club and I’m so glad I did because there is so much to talk about. Th The Hare is the story of Rosie, a young art student in New York City in 1983, who falls in love with Bennett, an older man from a wealthy WASP-ish family in New England. When Rosie gets pregnant, she drops out of school to be with Bennett. After an incident forces them to Bennett’s family cottage in Vermont, Rosie starts her new life and becomes friends with her next door neighbor. I read this for my 𝘽𝙞𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙡 𝘽𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙞𝙤𝙥𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙨 book club and I’m so glad I did because there is so much to talk about. The Hare is touted as a “feminist thriller” and I think that’s fairly accurate. This book tackles a lot of issues that affect women from pregnancy, and motherhood, to identity as a woman. With these issues, the novel explores themes of independence, freedom, security, and art. I liked that Rosie wasn’t a one dimensional heroine of this story. She makes some bad choices which frustrated me at times, but her character was developed so her choices always made sense. I liked the character of Billy and wished there would have been more exploration of their friendship. Many time jumps in the book were a bit jarring, but feel necessary to set up the motivations of the plot. One character appears later in a dinner scene who confused me at the time and I’m still trying to figure out the point of the character. The ending is a fast paced slide to an amazing finish. I really loved this book. I read it in two days and could not put it down. Rosie’s story was frustrating and relatable. I think the writing of this book was excellent.This deal with a lot of issues which may not be suitable for all readers. I recommend it to anyone who likes a thriller. Published in January by Two Dollar Radio.▪️ ⚠️ Child abuse, animal violence, domestic violence

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hermione

    The cover of this book is amusingly pretty and twee compared to the contents. This book is a dark, feminist, character driven story of a girl who wasn't wanted and never fit in, who is fooled by a manipulative man 20 years older than her. It's a really interesting study of character, and Rosie really comes to life in these pages. You could call this a psychological thriller, but it's more literary than the usual fare of that genre. It takes in the main characters life as a whole and we really le The cover of this book is amusingly pretty and twee compared to the contents. This book is a dark, feminist, character driven story of a girl who wasn't wanted and never fit in, who is fooled by a manipulative man 20 years older than her. It's a really interesting study of character, and Rosie really comes to life in these pages. You could call this a psychological thriller, but it's more literary than the usual fare of that genre. It takes in the main characters life as a whole and we really learn how she could be taken in by someone like Bennett and why she doubts herself. There's a real sinister edge to this book. There's paedophiles, murder, crime, drugs, and abuse. I kept wanting Rosie to run. When Bennett is away, leaving her and child alone in Vermont without heat, food, clothing... I wanted her to leave. I can mostly understand why she doesn't. Because this is character driven, I feel like there are some plot holes. A man who is a friend of Bennett just leaves the story, even though someone like him would never stop hounding Rosie, for example. Some things feel like they're foreshadowed, but then don't happen. The ending is meant to show freedom, but honestly, feels kind of trite and silly. It's also got a lot of darkness in it, so it might not be for everyone. But on the whole, this is a good read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Cunningham

    Melanie Finn has produced an artful, intelligent, and exquisite literary piece steeped in character and mystery. It’s been dubbed a thriller but it’s certainly non-formulaic in its rendering. The opening chapter set at The Boathouse in 1983 at times seemed to carry forward remnants of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Great Gatsby, The Goldfinch, and Bonfire of the Vanities. Finn is fantastic with building her story from a solid foundation of characters and setting. The novel is soaked in social issue Melanie Finn has produced an artful, intelligent, and exquisite literary piece steeped in character and mystery. It’s been dubbed a thriller but it’s certainly non-formulaic in its rendering. The opening chapter set at The Boathouse in 1983 at times seemed to carry forward remnants of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Great Gatsby, The Goldfinch, and Bonfire of the Vanities. Finn is fantastic with building her story from a solid foundation of characters and setting. The novel is soaked in social issues but steams with feminism and the social constructs of classism. As a person who has lived during this same time period and who shares strong social values on the topics related in this book, I found that much of it resonated with me, but for some of it I felt the incredulity in the author’s pronouncements and declarations or in the decisions or actions of her characters. So I came away with some mixed feelings and doubts about her depictions of womanhood and how women relate to other women or the opposite sex. In spite of these feelings, I enjoyed this story, the writing, and the characters. While it has its imperfections, The Hare is an excellent read and I highly recommend. It will also enliven Book Club and classroom discussions.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Relaxed pace, great style. There were surprises around every corner. I really felt for Rosie, naive and willing to just go along with whatever Bennett says. It’s good to see her get stronger and the friendship between Rosie and Billy is my favourite part of the book. Not so sure about the ending - she wanted to free herself, and it seems like maybe the author was going for something symbolic by also saving the girl in the painting that she identified with. And I wonder how she solved the issue w Relaxed pace, great style. There were surprises around every corner. I really felt for Rosie, naive and willing to just go along with whatever Bennett says. It’s good to see her get stronger and the friendship between Rosie and Billy is my favourite part of the book. Not so sure about the ending - she wanted to free herself, and it seems like maybe the author was going for something symbolic by also saving the girl in the painting that she identified with. And I wonder how she solved the issue with Bennett’s debts - she said no to doing another run, no to the photos, but it seems like Wheezie would have come back to claim them or something would have been mentioned. We don’t find out if it’s the woman she saw who was killed either, and apart from when Rosie mentions that it is about choices and she thinks she could have saved her, this thread doesn’t seem like it added much to the story. I mean we all know women are in danger, but much more likely to be in danger from the men in the house - and those threads were all much stronger. Not everything gets resolved in life, either, though, so I’m also ok with these staying open questions.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    A powerful, surprising meditation on womanhood, life choices, and running from your past, THE HARE was a brutal but satisfying read. I had never come across Melanie Finn's writing before this, and I feel like this was an incredible introduction. Finn takes us on a journey with Rose, our protagonist, from her being an art student at Parsons in the 1980s and meeting Bennett during an afternoon at MoMA, to having Bennett's daughter and him leaving them alone in a cabin in Maine for months at a time A powerful, surprising meditation on womanhood, life choices, and running from your past, THE HARE was a brutal but satisfying read. I had never come across Melanie Finn's writing before this, and I feel like this was an incredible introduction. Finn takes us on a journey with Rose, our protagonist, from her being an art student at Parsons in the 1980s and meeting Bennett during an afternoon at MoMA, to having Bennett's daughter and him leaving them alone in a cabin in Maine for months at a time. As Rosie comes to terms with her life upending because of a man, and making decisions based on being a mother going forward, the novel is truly a feminist story which takes place over a few decades. It is infuriating, with frustrating characters (including, more often than not, our supposed heroine). Without spoiling too much, we end the story in 2019 and the story takes surpassing and unexpected twists and turns to get us there. The ending was great, and this was just yet another amazing novel from one of my favorite publishers @twodollar radio. Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me a copy to review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I have been Rosie. I have known Rosies and I have known too many Bennetts. This book blew me away - the writing, the characters, the turns the tale took. All those moments when Melanie Finn used such perfect wording to describe things that I would have worn a highlighter out if I'd been reading a paper book. I rooted for Rosie even as a part of me thought, "No, no. This won't pan out." Towards the end I was resolved, and thinking more along the lines of, "Mhm. Of course her art got lost along th I have been Rosie. I have known Rosies and I have known too many Bennetts. This book blew me away - the writing, the characters, the turns the tale took. All those moments when Melanie Finn used such perfect wording to describe things that I would have worn a highlighter out if I'd been reading a paper book. I rooted for Rosie even as a part of me thought, "No, no. This won't pan out." Towards the end I was resolved, and thinking more along the lines of, "Mhm. Of course her art got lost along the way. That's how life works." It is stark, and sad, and beautifully written. It is at times hopeful and cheer worthy, and it will make you step outside yourself and evaluate how you see people. People make mistakes, and sometimes suffer for them and occasionally get away with them. Her hope made me sad, once I realized this book would follow true life more than some fairy tale path. But - had she given up hope that would have been worse. I genuinely didn't predict much of what happens, and I adored reading it all.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Verena

    “She did what women do and have always done, because the laundry still needs to be folded, the children collected from school or the fields or the workhouse, the dinner has to be made or gathered or harvested or butchered. Women do what needs to be done, they do what is expected, the obligation of their gender. For centuries, for thousands of years, tens of thousands, millions of years, women have been sucking cock and licking floors and going up the stairs just to keep men from making any more “She did what women do and have always done, because the laundry still needs to be folded, the children collected from school or the fields or the workhouse, the dinner has to be made or gathered or harvested or butchered. Women do what needs to be done, they do what is expected, the obligation of their gender. For centuries, for thousands of years, tens of thousands, millions of years, women have been sucking cock and licking floors and going up the stairs just to keep men from making any more trouble. Men mistake the act of submission for the condition of submission. But they don’t know that women split themselves right down the middle, the submitting part and the fuck you part... Women had holes and men believed it was their right to fill them. Not content with the physical holes, they tried to make existential ones. Drilling, drilling, drilling.”

  24. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    Dreadful. An art student (Rose) meets an older, seemingly sophisticated, guy in a NY City art museum, and is swept away by his love for her. They live on the coast of Connecticut until they are literally run off in the middle of the night, moving to a cabin in northern Vermont. Bennett is a strange guy, a bon vivant, con man, who abandons Rose and his daughter, Miranda to a life of hardship and abject poverty. Rose is literally saved by Billy, her gruff but soft-hearted neighbor. Despicable char Dreadful. An art student (Rose) meets an older, seemingly sophisticated, guy in a NY City art museum, and is swept away by his love for her. They live on the coast of Connecticut until they are literally run off in the middle of the night, moving to a cabin in northern Vermont. Bennett is a strange guy, a bon vivant, con man, who abandons Rose and his daughter, Miranda to a life of hardship and abject poverty. Rose is literally saved by Billy, her gruff but soft-hearted neighbor. Despicable characters. My reading experience was further ruined by an e-book copy from the King County Library system that was about a page in about 20 places, leading to discontinuities even beyond the story's senseless plot.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Walnoha

    Honestly the worst book I have ever read. The story is apparently supposed to show how women are abused or feel obligated to oblige the whims and wishes of men, particularly poor white women, but the author seemingly knows nothing about abuse or being poor and reduces them to naive idiots with no ambition or hillbilly bumpkins that don’t deserve further background. She tries to pull every feminist punch without truly earning the important moments and instead tries to earn them through paltry spr Honestly the worst book I have ever read. The story is apparently supposed to show how women are abused or feel obligated to oblige the whims and wishes of men, particularly poor white women, but the author seemingly knows nothing about abuse or being poor and reduces them to naive idiots with no ambition or hillbilly bumpkins that don’t deserve further background. She tries to pull every feminist punch without truly earning the important moments and instead tries to earn them through paltry sprinklings of descriptions of art that get lost halfway through the book or high school allusions to nature and wilderness. I was really excited to read this book and really trie to give it a chance but the whole thing is just completely awful.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Izabela

    Wow -- incredibly impressed with this. About to read the authors other work, too. I saw somewhere this was described as a thriller....it's really not a thriller. At least not in the sense of current thrillers on the market. It's slower. It has more nuance. There's no killer who must be found. There's no mystery to unravel. This is the life story of Rose Monroe told from 1983-2019. * Also, this book had a small error that is really irking me! At one point in 2019, Rose mentions her daughter is tu Wow -- incredibly impressed with this. About to read the authors other work, too. I saw somewhere this was described as a thriller....it's really not a thriller. At least not in the sense of current thrillers on the market. It's slower. It has more nuance. There's no killer who must be found. There's no mystery to unravel. This is the life story of Rose Monroe told from 1983-2019. * Also, this book had a small error that is really irking me! At one point in 2019, Rose mentions her daughter is turning 30 "this year" but if Miranda was born somewhere between 1983-1985, she'd be turning 35 or 36.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Gausepohl

    4.5⭐The book is so lyrical and feels very dreamlike. I really loved and appreciated the commentary on being a woman. It also provides a picture of classism, trauma, abuse in many forms, as well as friendships. It felt you were reading about Rose's life as if it were a tide. The information ebbed and flowed in a way that felt pretty natural and the transitions were smooth. This is one of those books that really sticks with you well after you've closed it. I have a feeling this will not be my firs 4.5⭐The book is so lyrical and feels very dreamlike. I really loved and appreciated the commentary on being a woman. It also provides a picture of classism, trauma, abuse in many forms, as well as friendships. It felt you were reading about Rose's life as if it were a tide. The information ebbed and flowed in a way that felt pretty natural and the transitions were smooth. This is one of those books that really sticks with you well after you've closed it. I have a feeling this will not be my first read through of this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christie

    Beautiful and visceral writing. For the first time, in a very long time, I was caught up in a book - looking forward to picking it up again after I put it down. The simmering anger of the author on behalf of her protagonist (Rosie) burns throughout the entire novel. I’m not sure if the ending is perfect, but I’m also not sure how I would have wanted it to end. And one of the rare times I wish there was an epilogue just so I could check in Rose again. This will probably be my go-to recommendation Beautiful and visceral writing. For the first time, in a very long time, I was caught up in a book - looking forward to picking it up again after I put it down. The simmering anger of the author on behalf of her protagonist (Rosie) burns throughout the entire novel. I’m not sure if the ending is perfect, but I’m also not sure how I would have wanted it to end. And one of the rare times I wish there was an epilogue just so I could check in Rose again. This will probably be my go-to recommendation of “what to read” for, at least, the foreseeable future.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shilpa

    The Hare by Melanie Finn will make you angry, and hopefully more wiser. You will replace the black and white in your colour palette, to different hues of grey. Complicit is not a term that you will be comfortable with. This is by far one of the best literary novels that I’ve read in 2021, and it’s one that will affect my decisions for the rest of my life. A literary masterpiece, that feels so personal, yet removed. Full review: https://sukasareads.blogspot.com/2021... The Hare by Melanie Finn will make you angry, and hopefully more wiser. You will replace the black and white in your colour palette, to different hues of grey. Complicit is not a term that you will be comfortable with. This is by far one of the best literary novels that I’ve read in 2021, and it’s one that will affect my decisions for the rest of my life. A literary masterpiece, that feels so personal, yet removed. Full review: https://sukasareads.blogspot.com/2021...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer S

    Rosie is a scholarship art student trying to escape her sad upbringing by her uninterested grandmother when she meets a wealthy man who charms her and provides her with a brief taste of the life of the upper crust. She is warned multiple times that he is not what he appears to be but she naively clings to his avowed love for her, eventually escaping with him and their infant child to a decrepit cottage in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont where things continue to go downhill. And this is the stro Rosie is a scholarship art student trying to escape her sad upbringing by her uninterested grandmother when she meets a wealthy man who charms her and provides her with a brief taste of the life of the upper crust. She is warned multiple times that he is not what he appears to be but she naively clings to his avowed love for her, eventually escaping with him and their infant child to a decrepit cottage in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont where things continue to go downhill. And this is the stronger part of the book. The last 1/3 of the book takes place 30 years later when the mysteries of the past threaten to unravel - and that part is even more absurd.

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