Synopses & Reviews
Josie and Jack are adolescents who live in a secluded, ramshackle house with their father, a professor of physics at a nearby college. Their mother is long gone; their father is subject to fits of rage and despair. Josie and Jack are bright and beautiful, and each other's whole world; they are not your average teenagers. Josie lives inside Jack's love and happily submits to his control. When their father's erratic behavior finally drives them out of their dark Eden, things get complicated, sinister, and interesting indeed. Jack is revealed to be one of recent fiction's most seductive sociopaths. Josie follows him into dark, strange adventures with the women who become his prey. Ultimately, her boundless devotion to her brother will be his undoing.
With no moral compass to guide them, Josie and Jack are thrillingly dangerous and worryingly likable. From its earliest pages to its shocking climax, this contemporary Hansel and Gretel story is compulsively readable and hugely entertaining.
"A gripping debut, hinting at the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale, about what happens when a loving brother and sister run away from home....Top dialogue, strong storytelling. Are Tristan and Isolde next?" Kirkus Reviews
"A dramatic and horrific resolution is countered by Josie's subtle maturation throughout, and we emerge from the book's spell feeling almost hopeful. Recommended as an accomplished if disturbing read." Library Journal
"Braffet roils a reader to crave to find out what happens next, not because her main characters are figures to root for...but because she has paced their often appalling adventures at a quick, sustained rhythm." Sarah Vowell, The New York Times Book Review
"Josie and Jack is not only wicked fun, but proof that the novel is alive, kicking and can take a reader on a gothic tour of hell, American-style." Los Angels Times
Teenage siblings Josie and Jack are each other's whole world. Josie lives inside Jack's love and happily submits to his control, following him on his sociopathic path. When their father's erratic behavior finally drives them away, things get complicated, sinister, and interesting, in this contemporary Hansel and Gretel story.
In Josie and Jack, Kelly Braffet gives us a deliciously dark, suspenseful debut novel in the tradition of Patricia Highsmith.
Beautiful, brilliant, and inseparable, Josie and Jack Raeburn live a secluded, anarchic existence in their decaying western Pennsylvania home. The only adult in their lives is their rage-prone father, a physicist, whose erratic behavior finally drives them away. Without a moral compass to guide them, Jack leads Josie into a menacing world of wealth, eroticism, and betrayal. His sociopathic tendencies emerge, and soon Josie must decide which is stronger: the love and devotion she feels for her brother or her will to survive.
From its opening page to its shocking climax, this contemporary Hansel and Gretel story is compulsively readable and hugely entertaining.
About the Author
Kelly Braffet was born in Long Beach, California, in 1976, and has lived in Arizona, rural Pennsylvania and Oxford, England. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University, and has taught novel writing at the Sackett Street Writing Workshop. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her fiance, the tall and embarrassingly talented writer Owen King. They have three cats.