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Mrs S

A novel by


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.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Mrs S is sublime - at once a languorous slow-burn and a moving reflection on queerness and what it is to be and be seen. I loved this book." - Julia Armfield

"A voluptuous performance in the art of withholding, taut with anticipation through the final line." - Lillian Fishman

"Tense and taut and exhilarating. A smart and sexy novel about looking and being looked at, about feeling and knowing, about the people we want and the people we want to be. I loved it." - Monica Heisey

"An extraordinary novel: poignant and tough, tender and unsentimental." - Marina Kemp

"A delicately detailed fresco of longing - I love this book." - Zain Khalid

"I've completely fallen for the astonishing Mrs. S - K Patrick's watchful measured prose simmers, edging the reader along, asking Will I get what I want? and What then?" - Andrea Lawlor

"K Patrick's breathless, splintered prose vividly communicates their subject, which is erotic longing and a desire that must remain clandestine. What a beautifully crafted and uncannily accomplished debut. What an irresistible new voice." - Rupert Thomson

"Hot!" - Joanna Walsh

"A story so seductively and intelligently observed that its pulse continues long after the final page. To dismantle a certain queer narrative into something else is rare and thrilling. I haven't read anything quite like it. Yes. I loved it." - Sarah Winman

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