This debut novel—a living portrait of queer desire, an absolute banquet of heart breakingly affirming sentences—is so good. It's undeniably erotic, wryly earnest, unexpectedly funny and full of painfully honest moments of both fellowship and human disconnection.— From Kitri
Observations of queer desire are no longer left to metaphor and flowery language, but made tangible in the grasp of a thigh or bite of a fist. The picturesque femininity of Mrs. S, and her untouchability as the headmaster's wife, comes to a physical clash against the unnamed narrator, open with their butchness and desire to succumb to an illicit affair that is doomed from the very start.— From Sarah C.
“Mrs. S is a delicious little seduction: a story of obsession, desire, and displacement; a hazy seaside heat mirage; a funhouse mirror version of Bergman’s Persona and one of the most astute, beguiling books about want I’ve ever read.”
— Camden Avery, The Booksmith (CA), San Francisco, CA
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
Oprah Daily・Electric Literature・Gay Times・NBC Out
A JULY 2023 INDIE NEXT PICK
A sublime and sensual debut novel exploring the nature of queer love and attraction, the transformative power of desire, and the dissonance between self and place, by White Review Fiction Prize shortlisted writer K Patrick
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 butch antipodean outsider arrives to take up the antiquated role of "matron." Within this landscape of immense privilege, where difference is met with hostility, the matron 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--an assured, authoritative paragon of femininity. Over the course of a long, restless summer, their unspoken yearning blooms into an illicit affair of electric intensity. But, as the summer fades, a choice must be made.
Seductive, stylish, and disarmingly wry, K Patrick's bold and revelatory debut smolders with the heat of summer as it explores the queer experience and the force of forbidden love.