Instances of the Number 3

A Novel

Salley Vickers

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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When a man dies and leaves behind a wife and a mistress, we expect certain responses to follow. But as the narrator of Salley Vickers's second novel explains, "this is not an account of feminine jealousy, or even revenge, and not all human beings (not even women) conform to the attitudes generally expected." Indeed, in this ironic and witty novel nothing is quite as we expect to find it. Telling the story of Bridget Hansome and Frances Slater, Vickers brings to life a loving marriage and a love affair that exist side by side for years - and continue to reverberate after secretive, generous, sexually prodigal Peter Hansome dies suddenly in a car accident, on his way home from an assignation with yet another lover, about whom neither woman knows.

While Frances, a London art dealer and sometime artists' model, gradually makes friends with the older, Shakespeare-loving Bridget, these two unconventional women start to learn the whole truth (or almost the whole truth) about the man whose death brought them together and whose ghost watches over them still.

Wise, wry, and intellectually playful, Instances of the Number 3 explores the mysterious power of triangles in love, art, and theology. It confirms Salley Vickers as one of the most intelligent new voices in British fiction.

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  CHAPTER 1AFTER PETER HANSOME died, people were surprised that his widow seemed to be spending so much time with his mistress. Bridget Hansome was not the kind of woman who could have failed to notice her husband’s discreet, but regular, visits to the flat in Turnham Green where Frances Slater lived. And, indeed, anyone married to Peter Hansome would have needed to learn the art of turning a blind eye. Had the various friends and acquaintances of the Hansomes’ been asked to bet on how the wife might deal with a mistress discovered in the aftermath of the husband’s death

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Praise for Instances of the Number 3

"[Vickers's] second novel confirms that she will have a long and outstanding career." --Martyn Groff, The Times (London)

A fresh triumph from an exciting new novelist who "Writes Like a Haunted Angel"--
The Times [London]

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About the Author

Salley Vickers

Salley Vickers's novels, Instances of the Number 3 and Miss Garnet's Angel, have been acclaimed bestsellers in Britain. A former university lecturer in literature, she is a trained analytical psychologist and lectures widely on the connections between literature, psychology, and religion. She lives in London and Bath.

Salley Vickers

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Available Formats and Book Details

Instances of the Number 3
A Novel
Salley Vickers

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780374706128
ISBN10: 0374706123
320 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
June 2003
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312421120
ISBN10: 0312421125
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages, Includes one black-and-white illustration
$19.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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