Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki: A Review

Lady recently asked for a trial separation from her husband, Karl, and is living with her two sons, Seth and Devin.  Seth is an 18-year-old selective mute and Devin is a very talkative toddler.  Lady has accepted a contract to write a book about her experiences with Seth and has hired S Fowler to watch him while she writes.  S is actually Esther Shapiro, an aspiring artist that had an art project that turned out badly.  She has decided to reinvent herself in the image of her alcoholic mom in order to begin a new art project.  Soon, all the lies of all the different characters begin to have an effect on their relationships.

I had mixed feelings about Woman No. 17.  Lepucki's writing style is beyond compare and it was a very easy read.  The story and the characters didn't do much for me, though.  I actually didn't like any of the characters.  Well, maybe with the exception of Devin but he is a toddler so how can I not?  I found Seth to be about as manipulative as S was and Lady came across as selfish and pampered.  I want to give a full disclaimer at this moment and say that I am not a huge fan of performance or experimental art.  Maybe I just don't get it but it seems pretentious to me.  S and Seth's performance art, especially, seemed to me to be something that is only liked by those in the upper crust of society, a people who are often not informed about what the lives of the rest of society are like.  I have a slight inkling that even they don't get it.  I could see the ending from a mile away.  The whole time that I was reading the book, I kept thinking to myself, "Well, this can't possibly turn out well."  I think this book would appeal to some readers but it just didn't appeal to me.  I loved Lepucki's writing style and I would like to read her future work just for that reason but the story did not catch my attention.

My rating:
★★☆☆☆

Edan Lepucki discusses how she feels about bookstores in this video:


Reviews of books like this one:
Best Intentions by Erika Raskin
You Were Here by Sardar
The Road to Enchantment by Kaya McLaren

 This book is currently available and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in order to review it but that did not have an effect on my review of the book.  This is my honest opinion of this book.  I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program.  By clicking on the Amazon link and purchasing this product, I receive a small fee.  I am not associated with Goodreads or Barnes and Noble in any way and the links provided are available strictly for your convenience and not to imply a relationship of any kind.

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