The Circle

Elaine Feinstein
Date Published
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‘Feinstein’s triumph is to write so well that she makes Lena’s predicament not only moving, in a perfunctory dismissive way, but also painful … [she has] an accurate and acute feeling for language, and pauses, and silence.’ Guardian

Lena’s seemingly contented family life is coming apart at the seams. Her husband Ben has been having an affair with the au pair, and as their relationship slides he retreats more and more into his work in a science lab. Sons Alan and Michael may appear happy enough, but this is far from the case – both are responding to a physical world which they alone inhabit. And Lena – desperately lost and seeking an identity of her own, both inside and outside of her family unit – increasingly finds solace at the bottom of a bottle.

An exploration of just how lonely – and how magic – a marriage can be, The Circle is a poignant, poetic and incredibly assured debut novel.