Publisher : Algonquin Books (April 20, 2021)
Language : English
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643751557
FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST ELMET
Named One of the Most-Anticipated Books of 2021 by:
The Millions, BuzzFeed, The Stylist, The Guardian, and more
“Enjoyable and impressive on every page.” —Steph Cha, USA Today
In the middle of the bustle of London's Soho, among the theaters and sex shops and pubs, sits a building. It isn’t particularly assuming. But it’s a prime piece of real estate, and a young millionaire, Agatha Howard, wants to convert it into luxury condos as soon as she can kick out all the tenants.
The problem is, the building in question houses a brothel, and Precious and Tabitha, two of the women who live and work there, are not going to go quietly. And another problem is, just where did Agatha’s fortune come from? The fight over this piece of property also draws in the men who visit, including Robert, a one-time member of a far-right group and enforcer for Agatha’s father; Jackie, a policewoman intent on making London a safer place for all women; Bastian, a rich and dissatisfied party boy who pines for an ex-girlfriend; and a collection of vagabonds and strays who occupy the basement. In this much-anticipated follow-up to Fiona Mozley's brilliant debut, Elmet, as these characters—with surprising hidden connections and shadowy pasts—converge, the fight over the property boils over into a hot stew.
Entertaining, sharply funny, and dazzlingly accomplished, Hot Stew confronts questions about wealth and inheritance, gender and power, and the things women must do to survive in an unjust world.
HOT STEW is a riot of a read that is highly entertaining, addictive and propulsive. The story begins in the neighborhood of SoHo London where the dilapidated building’s owner Agatha, wants to rebuild to make room for high-end restaurants and luxury apartments. That means that the brothel and all the tenants are going to be evicted. Well, they are not going without a fight and the stir causes a hot stew of a situation.
I enjoyed this fast paced and thought-provoking read that brought these amazing and quirky characters together. The varying POV’s of the story brought a glimpse into the lives of these diverse and eccentric characters, that I found engaging. The writing was witty, and the characters were weaved together and connected brilliantly. The story in its core was about the haves and have nots, the gentrification that affects communities, the unscrupulous landlord vs tenant issues, gender roles, class and inequality. Mosley’s sophomore novel sure packed a punch and was quite the unique and compelling read.
Fiona Mozley grew up in York and went to King's College, Cambridge, after which she lived in Buenos Aires and London. She is studying for a PhD in medieval history. Elmet is her first novel and it has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017.