Skip to content


Chloe Hooper had what she describes as a “dark night of the soul” when her latest book  The Engagement went to the printers. And it had to do with that monster best-selling book Fifty Shades of Grey. She was worried she had written the literary equivalent of the erotic best-seller, after all The Engagement does deal with sex, power and money. Fifty Shades of Grey is no comparison to The Engagement. Hooper’s interest here is in the psychological drivers of desire, as well as the power struggles that underlie any relationship based on inequality, whether in terms of gender, class or wealth. The Engagement could be described as a thriller because in the relationship it depicts, the roles keep swapping back and forth. I’m not going to forget the dinner party scene with the swan anytime soon!