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Publisher's Summary

In Catherine Lacey's ambitious second novel, we are introduced to Mary, a young woman living in New York City struggling with a body that has betrayed her. All but paralyzed with pain, Mary seeks relief from a New Age-y treatment called Pneuma Adaptive Kinesthesia, PAKing for short. And, remarkably, it works. But PAKing is expensive and Mary is broke. So she scours Craigslist for fast-cash jobs and finds the "Girlfriend Experiment," the brainchild of an eccentric and narcissistic actor determined to find the perfect relationship - even if it means paying women to fill different roles. Mary is hired as the "emotional girlfriend"- certainly better than the "anger girlfriend" or the "maternal girlfriend" - and is pulled into an ego-driven and messy attempt at human connection.

Told in Lacey's signature spiraling prose, The Answers is full of singular yet universal insights. It is a gorgeous hybrid of the plot - and idea - driven novel that will leave you reeling.

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Catherine Lacey

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How To Best Love Those People In Your Life

First, Lacey really nailed the subtleties of the South without overplaying her Mississippian heritage. To me, the parts about Mary/Juneula and her family were superb. At times, the writing glowed luminescent but more than this it rolled forward with the power to stop the listener in their tracks. You might find yourself struck dumb by a passage or a short chapter wanting to say...but--but--wait a second--but Lacey is already off at a clip around the next bend. What do you do with writing like this? Throw up your hands and dash to keep up is all I can suggest.

Keep in mind that I usually have a bug-a-boo about character development and consistency. While these characters are often so spare and almost translucent in quality that they don't seem strong enough, solid enough to pack the literary wallop needed, fear not--wallop away masterfully they do. Add these deceptively complex characters to the beautiful narration accomplished by Tusing and you have a powerful mix.

Lacey explores--no let me be more precise--rips apart and shreds to pieces concepts of love, belief, trust, memory, loss and time. Then she looks at the whole mess from the inside out and upside down. To quote the NYT book section--it's down the rabbit hole of love we go. I couldn't agree more. For me, it's been a literary dry spell recently and I, for one was thrilled with the chase. What a book. Prepare yourself for a treat. I loved it.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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On Nylon Magazine's Best Books for June 2017

(my original review appears in similar form on Audible's website)


well crafted : ironic, witty and yet sad. A modern day story about a woman with an unknown illness (IMO social isolation.) The author covers important topics in sparse language. Themes are not heavy handed. Not sure if it's for everyone because of subject matter. This is a moody, fast paced and reflective book.

What other book might you compare The Answers to and why?
2016's "The Nix" by Nathan Hill because of contemporary subject matter.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A must for spiritual listeners

This had me from the beginning. The summary made me go: Ok. Thank goodness this was found in a weekend." As soon as it started I was in the book. From start to finish it drew me deeper and deeper in. If you are used to new age teaching it's going to be a book about how to avoid being hocked. So grateful for this .

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • PATRICIA
  • NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA, United States
  • 08-06-17

Idiotic

Truly a waste. Nothing interesting at all happened. The characters are one
Dimensional and banal. Don't bother.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful