An Observer Best Debut of the Year
A Granta Best of Young British Novelists
‘Oozes with erotic tension from the start’ Sarah Winman, author of Still Life
‘Sublime … I loved this book’ Julia Armfield, author of Our Wives Under the Sea
‘Tense and taut and exhilarating’ Monica Heisey, author of Really Good, Actually
‘I’ve completely fallen for the astonishing Mrs S’ Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
Powerfully sensual and sublimely stylish, Mrs S is a tale of queer love that smoulders with the heat of summer. In an elite English boarding school where the girls kiss the marble statue of the famous dead author who used to walk the halls, a young Australian woman arrives to take up the antiquated role of ‘matron’.
Within this landscape of immense privilege, in which the girls can sense the slightest weakness in those around them, she finds herself unsure of her role, her accent and her body. That is until she meets Mrs S, the headmaster’s wife, a woman who is her polar opposite: assured, sophisticated, a paragon of femininity. Over the course of a long, restless heatwave, the matron finds herself irresistibly drawn ever closer into Mrs S’s world and their unspoken desire blooms into an illicit affair of electric intensity.
But, as the summer begins to fade, both women know that a choice must be made. K Patrick’s portrait of the butch experience is revelatory; exploring the contested terrain of our bodies, our desires and the constraints society places around both. Mrs S marks the arrival of a major new literary talent, unlike any other.
‘The intense physicality of the novel’s emotions and its stylish, stripped-back prose make for an arresting pairing’ Observer
‘Taut with anticipation through the final line’ Lillian Fishman, author of Acts of Service
‘An extraordinary novel’ Marina Kemp, author of Nightingale
‘Reading Mrs S is a delicious experience’ Rupert Thomson, author of Never Anyone But You