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Calling Outby Rae Meadows
Synopses & Reviews
A smart, sexy debut about a young woman coming to terms with a life she hadn't planned.
After being dumped by her boyfriend, Jane quits her job in New York City, drives west, and lands in Salt Lake City, where she takes a job answering phones at a Mormon-endorsed escort agency. As Jane struggles to find companionship and purpose in her new surroundings, she mothers the escorts and flirts with callers. But the pull of mystery and danger is too great. Boundaries begin to blur, and Jane inches toward a place that would have once been unthinkable: She becomes an escort. Shifting between self-doubt and confidence, uncertainty and adrenaline, Jane descends into the lonely world of sexual commerce and discovers — through her bad behavior — a new sense of self.
With convincing, atmospheric prose, Meadows captures both the landscape and politics of Utah, the ironies of America's heartland, and reminds us that clarity and community can be found in the most unlikely places.
"After a rough breakup followed by a few months of wanly suicidal gestures like 'switching to nonlight cigarettes, not washing my hands after the subway, forgoing my seatbelt and driving fast,' Jane (no last name) packs her life in her car and leaves New York, headed west. When she stops in Utah and takes a job answering phones at a Mormon-approved escort service, she is adamant that she won't go any further into the sex trade than the front desk. But perhaps inevitably, she finds herself working as an escort and coming alive through her 'dates.' Although there is body contact, her new duties involve more playacting and kindness than full sex — which provides a foil for all the playacting and kindness she'd offered her ex, McCallister, who attempts to woo her back, tepidly, throughout. Meadows, making her debut, gives Jane a thoughtfully staccato first-person, but it isn't quite enough to wrestle larger insights from her racy, provocative premise. (June 27)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Meadows displays strong narrative technique as she brings the disjointed culture of Mormon-ruled Salt Lake City and a group of 20-something Latter Day Sinners into high relief....[A] writer to watch." Kirkus Reviews
"Rae Meadows' novel is a sexy, confident, totally winning debut...she brings the sordid world of the escort business into affecting and often hilarious relief....[She] is a shining talent." Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng and The Real McCoy
"The characters are quirky enough to keep the reader interested, while at the same time they seem to stay within the realm of reality, though always on the edge." Bookreporter.com
After being dumped by her boyfriend, Jane quits her job, drives west and lands in Salt Lake City, where she takes a job answering phones at an escort agency. Before long, she becomes an escort in this tale of one woman's journey from exile to understanding, in the both puritanical and libertarian state of Utah.
About the Author
Rae Meadows is a graduate of Stanford University and the MFA program at the University of Utah. Her short stories have appeared in Mississippi Review, Flyway, 580 Split, and Fine Print. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Calling Out is her first novel.
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