“She was right. The actresses my mom dressed were always hiring assistants to do more than run errands; these rich women needed bestirs to join them at the spa, drive them to the abortion clinic, and diagnose their bacne. Lady wasn’t as rich as they were, but still.”
Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki
Star rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5 stars
Summary: Recently separated from her husband, Lady hires a nanny for her youngest son Devin so that she can write a book about her eldest son who has mutism. S is the nanny she hires, who is in the middle of a performance art piece that she has not told her employer about.
Review: This book had some of the most unlikable, terrible main characters that I’ve ever read. Which I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s good to have them but to the point where you hope nothing good happens to these people ever is a little bad. I just hated both these women, I didn’t find them sympathetic. The moments Lepucki put in the book to make them seem sympathetic just made them pathetic looking.
Lady is just so full of herself, she’s very possessive over her older son Seth. To the point where she gets upset if anyone else can communicate with him. It’s ridiculous and maddening. She keeps the knowledge of his father from him which, okay I get it he left them but Jesus if your kid asks just fucking tell them. He has the right to know who his father is, come on guys– we’re not Skywalkers. I felt a little sympathy for her at first but with how cold she is towards Devin and how possessive she is of Seth I just couldn’t feel anything for her at the end.
S, or Esther, is just some pretentious artist who is mainly focusing on art because of her ex-boyfriend leaving her. She just looks down her nose at everything and everyone. I thought the mother art project she was doing was actually cool, minus the performance art part. Acting like her own mother was just stupid and I hated it. I did like her painting and recreation of the photos of women before they became mothers. I hate hate hate that she gave that up for unsolicited dick pics like???? What? How is that better? She doesn’t even have to do anything herself. Whatever, that’s fine but then she sleeps with barely eighteen Seth. I’M soooorrryyyy, gross. Don’t be a pedo. She seems to actually be an okay person when she isn’t trying to act like her mom.
All that said, hating these main characters didn’t make me frustrated with the story or want to give it up. It was interesting and kept my attention throughout the book. I read it pretty quickly and I did enjoy reading it but god those characters are just the worst. I would probably never want to reread this book which I think is a really big factor for me when rating a book.
I received this book for review from Blogging for Books.
Recommendation: The book isn’t bad itself, it’s just the characters are so unappealing and terrible people which takes away from some of the enjoyment. I can see how people could very easily dislike this book based on just the characters.