As a fan of Lepucki's earlier work, California, I was excited to read Woman No. 17. I found that this book is just as innovative as her last. The story follows the path of the complicated Lady Daniels, a writer; Seth, her adult mute son; and S, the nanny for Lady's toddler, Devin. All of these characters interact in unexpected ways that twist and turn, creating thrill and suspense that had me glued to the pages. This is the perfect book to kick off your summer reading season. Recommended By Kim S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles, from the New York Times bestselling author of California
High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has decided to take a break from her husband. Left alone with her children, she’s going to need a hand taking care of her young son if she’s ever going to finish her memoir. In response to a Craigslist ad, S arrives, a magnetic young artist who will live in the secluded guest house out back, care for Lady’s toddler, Devin, and keep a watchful eye on her older, teenage son, Seth. S performs her day job beautifully, quickly drawing the entire family into her orbit, and becoming a confidante for Lady.
But in the heat of the summer, S’s connection to Lady’s older son takes a disturbing, and possibly destructive, turn. And as Lady and S move closer to one another, the glossy veneer of Lady’s privileged life begins to crack, threatening to expose old secrets that she has been keeping from her family. Meanwhile, S is protecting secrets of her own, about her real motivation for taking the job. S and Lady are both playing a careful game, and every move they make endangers the things they hold most dear.
Darkly comic, twisty and tense, this mesmerizing new novel defies expectation and proves Edan Lepucki to be one of the most talented and exciting voices of her generation.
"In Woman No. 17, Lepucki has crafted an intricate, gripping story of people behaving very badly. You will want to race to the end to see what happens, but don’t cheat yourself. This book deserves to be savored – gorgeously written, darkly comic, smart and thrilling." Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest
"Following the success of her debut novel, California, author Edan Lepucki returns with a dark and clever tale about motherhood and the complexity of friendships." SFWeekly
"Lepucki’s brisk style and arresting characterizations make for a compelling portrait of womanhood in the present moment, right down to its intriguing integration of social media." Publishers Weekly
"Edan Lepucki’s Woman No. 17 is part family melodrama, part twisty self-relection… very funny." GQ
About the Author
Edan Lepucki is the New York Times bestselling author of the novel California as well as the novella If You’re Not Yet Like Me. A contributing editor and staff writer at the Millions, she has also published fiction and nonfiction in McSweeney’s, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Cut, and elsewhere. She is the founder of Writing Workshops Los Angeles.
Edan Lepucki on PowellsBooks.Blog
Woman No. 17
is a novel about women, motherhood, art, sex, drinking, the Internet, and all the identities we embrace — and the many we are keen to reject. Lady is a recently separated mother of two; her son Devin is a toddler and her older son Seth, who is 18 years old, cannot speak. Lady hires Esther, a recent college graduate who goes by S...