Book Review: Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki


My rating: 4 of 5 stars 4 Stars

I received an ARC of Woman No. 17 through NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you to Crown Publishing for the opportunity.

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Set near the Hollywood Hills, Edan Lepucki’s dark comedy begins with Lady Daniels, an early forties reluctant writer and mother of two, and Esther Shapiro or “S”, a twenty-something college graduate looking for steady work and a chance to express herself through art.

Lady ends up hiring S to be a nanny to her toddler son Devin.

The people in Lady and S’s lives begin in separate circles but eventually these relationships turn into a Venn diagram where their lives intersect and some unexpectedly become closely entwined both physically and emotionally.9D2C4EA4-50B8-4B88-A1D5-C4D2324F9CA4I became attached to each character as the book progressed even though no character was completely likable because of their flaws and behaving badly.

Lepucki fleshes her characters out in great detail and exposes their vulnerability, faults, and shows their human side.

Each person has secrets, estranged relationships, and every character has a dysfunctional relationship with their mother who shaped and molded them into who they are today.

This diverse group came to life for me through the author’s vivid descriptions of the characters’ backgrounds and gave me insight into worlds that I normally don’t encounter – art, the digital age, alcoholism, complicated relationships, binge drinking, and life in Los Angeles.

“Noir” is the perfect description for this book. You will laugh out loud at the dialogue, and Lady and S’s inner monologue.

You will get to know each character and become involved with them.

You will wince and shake your head when they make bad decisions (and they make a lot of them), but most of all, you will enjoy this book.

Well done. Highly recommend.

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