Molly Pohlig's The Unsuitable is a fierce blend of Gothic ghost story and Victorian novel of manners that's also pitch perfect for our current cultural moment.
Iseult Wince is a Victorian woman perilously close to spinsterhood whose distinctly unpleasant father is trying to marry her off. She is awkward, plain, and most pertinently, believes that her mother, who died in childbirth, lives in the scar on her neck.
Iseult's father parades a host of unsuitable candidates before her, the majority of whom Iseult wastes no time frightening away. When at last her father finds a suitor desperate enough to take Iseult off his hands--a man whose medical treatments have turned his skin silver--a true comedy of errors ensues.
As history's least conventional courtship progresses into talk of marriage, Iseult's mother becomes increasingly volatile and uncontrollable, and Iseult is forced to resort to extreme, often violent, measures to keep her in check.
As the day of the wedding nears, Iseult must decide whether (and how) to set the course of her life, with increasing interference from both her mother and father, tipping her ever closer to madness, and to an inevitable, devastating final act.
About the Author
Molly Pohlig graduated from James Madison University with a BA in English, and from University College Dublin with an MA in Film Studies. She is the associate editor for Vogue Knitting magazine, and has written humorous pieces and personal essays for Slate, The Toast, Racked, and The Hairpin. Originally from Virginia, she currently lives in Brooklyn.
Molly Pohlig has written a true stunner with The Unsuitable. A novel that takes the body and upends it, all the while focused on the how our interior worlds are oftentimes prolifically shaped by our parentage. On the sentence level it is both gorgeous and messy; a bloody delight. There isn't another book like it. Pohlig has crafted a wonder.
--Kristen Arnett, NYT bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things
is a gruesome, stabby, wincing book about the ways in which women are influenced, hindered, hurt, and taught to hurt themselves. There is a rebellious glee in Iseult's response to the powers that be, and great humor amidst the glittering darkness. This is a comedy of manners marvelously turned upside down."--Sharma Shields, author of The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac and The Cassandra The Unsuitable
is a weird neo-Victorian fever-dream with a prickly, haunted heroine and an ending you won't see coming.--Maggie Mitchell, author of Pretty Is The Unsuitable
is vivid, bloody, and above all, wholly singular. It is impossible to not feel for Iseult as she struggles for a glimmer of independence that both the living and dead are hellbent on smudging out. With this debut, Molly Pohlig establishes herself as a startling force.--Madeline Stevens, author of Devotion