A feeling of unease pervades Mrs. March, alerting the reader that something much darker lurks beneath the monotony of its protagonist’s daily life, which revolves around domestic chores and dinner parties ... Although there is an economy to the writing and a spareness to the description, Feito nonetheless manages to capture this world entirely, while simultaneously ratcheting up the tension caused by Mrs. March’s increasingly fractured psyche, in a way that recalls novels by Patricia Highsmith and Margaret Millar. And like these predecessors, Feito explores issues of autonomy, insecurity and madness, all wrapped up in the domestic life of a housewife whose whole being has been shaped and molded by how she believes others view her ... Feito works hard to make sure readers know that there is something amiss in this character’s fragile mind, inviting us to question which of Mrs. March’s experiences are real and which the product of psychosis ... By the time we approach the end, there is little doubt as to the fate of Mrs. March. And yet the final pages are shocking nonetheless, and readers may find themselves tempted to return to the beginning in order to understand just what Feito has so convincingly managed to achieve within her accomplished debut.
Feito’s macabre novel, set in Manhattan’s Upper East Side in the late 1960s, is billed as a literary thriller, but it’s really an amalgam. It is equally a novel of psychological suspense, mystery, crime and horror. Especially horror. Some of its more visceral scenes aren’t easy to forget ... Mrs. March hews to the contours of other novels about women who, as they unravel, collide head on with their past ... But Feito, an obviously talented writer, gives us a Mrs. March who is detestable, a person who revels in other people’s failures. As the horrors escalate, Mrs. March’s appeal as a character wanes ... We don’t have to like or love protagonists, but we should care about their fate, good or bad. The second Mrs. de Winter also started out pathetic and weak, but we cheered for her by the time Manderley burned to the ground. Readers might feel less charitable about Mrs. March.
A little bit Hitchcock, a little bit Patricia Highsmith, a little bit 'The Yellow Wallpaper' ... Mrs. March is a sneakily brutal book, a scream almost drowned out by a whisper ... If there’s a major flaw here, it’s that Mrs. March seems if anything too clearly meant to end up onscreen ... Feito’s prose never falters, but she also doesn’t seem inclined to take advantage of the artistic possibilities the novel can offer that television can’t: psychology expressed through text rather than images, for instance. Still, there’s a relentless build to this book, a gnawing dread that sets in early and never quite lets up. And between Feito’s silver-polish sentences and her eerie psychological acumen, you don’t want it to.
Feito locks the reader up inside the fracturing psyche of a woman of privilege who, through excruciatingly precise renderings of grotesque delusions, is revealed to be profoundly and perilously damaged. Feito masterfully orchestrates the bewildering horrors of Mrs. March’s breakdown as she is assailed by memories of her loveless childhood and, playing sleuth, convinces herself that her husband is a rapist and a murderer. Each sharply realized and diabolical aspect of Mrs. March’s life, hallucinations, and actions are spiked with chilling insights into the dark aspects of family, marriage, and wealth. Feito’s bravura gothic thriller brilliantly exposes monstrous consequences of covert neglect and cruelty.
While the poor woman never gets a break from the misery, Feito does offer the reader a few homeopathic drops of humor...Feito is Spanish and lives in Madrid, but somehow she is the love child of Patricia Highsmith and Shirley Jackson ... On her way to the screen played by Elisabeth Moss, Mrs. March is absolutely right—everyone is talking about her.
... elegantly written, unflinchingly observed ... Though the suspense remains high up to the horrific final surprise, much of this woman-pushed-to-the-brink-of-madness story feels familiar, and if not for some contemporary references, Mrs. March’s breakdown could be occurring in a Henry James drawing room. One looks forward to Feito training her clearly considerable talents on fresher material next time around.