Synopses & Reviews
Walter Kirn has fashioned She Needed Me
, a moving, surprising, and darkly comic novel whose sympathetic portrait of a disillusioned generation is mercifully uncynical. Weaver Walquist and Kim Lindgren first meet outside a St. Paul, Minnesota, abortion clinic. Kim twenty-three, pregnant, with no money to finish junior college is about to walk inside. Weaver is lying in front of the door. At twenty-six, he is a Bible-carrying member of the Conscience Squad, a fanatical right-wing protest group...yet readers of all minds will be drawn to this gentle, questing soul as he struggles with his feelings for Kim and his subsequent sexual desire for her; his crumbling devotion to the church; and his waning loyalty to his employer, Sanipure, a Christian soap and cosmetics company that calls sales "fellowship moments." But Weaver was not always devout. The only child of a widowed, highly successful Wisconsin liquor store owner, he tried to ward off teenage isolation with a mixture of pot and pills, vodka, sex and heavy metal music, until born-again Christian Lucas Boone found him half dead on the floor of a Greyhound station men's room.
As Weaver tries to persuade Kim to have her baby, they embark upon a journey that brings them into contact with a cast of keenly drawn characters: Chuck and Dixie Lindgren, Kim's parents, who made more money in one hot Las Vegas weekend than they ever earned from their North Dakota farm; charismatic, paranoid Lucas Boone, popping anti-depressant pills like candy; Kim's disaffected brother, Ricky, who makes a modest living burglarizing his relatives' homes; and finally sharp-tongued Margaret Walquist, whom Weaver always thinks of as "my mother the businesswoman." A funny, bittersweet chronicle of young people falling in love and searching for answers in a crazy, changing world, She Needed Me is vibrant and honest without being judgmental.
"Kirn sensitively portrays his main characters' painful emotional waltz, perfectly capturing the hesitancy and mistrust that sabotages their yearning....Recommended..." Library Journal
"[A] timely melodrama..." Kirkus Reviews
"Kirn...succeeds brilliantly in fathoming the mindset of a moralistic misogynist..." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Walter Kirn is a graduate of Princeton University and the Univeristy of Oxford.