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As a young adult, she started to turn tricks in the parking lot of the local bar. Not because she needed the money, but because the money made explicit what sex had always been for her, a loveless transaction.

A sadist takes her home to replay family dramas with his beautiful wife, and she becomes hopelessly drawn into their dangerous web, and eventually, ends up in more trouble than she ever bargained for. Arrested and confined to a psyche ward, a therapist is assigned to help ...

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Overview

As a young adult, she started to turn tricks in the parking lot of the local bar. Not because she needed the money, but because the money made explicit what sex had always been for her, a loveless transaction.

A sadist takes her home to replay family dramas with his beautiful wife, and she becomes hopelessly drawn into their dangerous web, and eventually, ends up in more trouble than she ever bargained for. Arrested and confined to a psyche ward, a therapist is assigned to help her. But instead of treatment, they develop a sexual relationship, bringing her both confusion and revelation.

Heather Lewis was the author of two other novels, House Rules and Second Suspect. In 2002, she took her own life at the age of 40.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lewis's third and final novel, published posthumously, is as dark and gritty as her 1994 debut, House Rules. Anonymous sex, drug use and abusive relationships abound in the story of a young prostitute whose real name readers never learn as she operates in a haze of alcohol and drugs, drifting through a series of encounters whose patterns she fails to recognize. Teenaged Nina, as she prefers to be called "in these situations," turns tricks in the parking lot of a train station before going home to her absent parents' house. A relationship with a sadomasochistic client, Gabriel, and his wife, Ingrid, eventually leads to Nina's arrest and committal to a psych ward, where she meets Beth, a sympathetic counselor. But the systems designed, in theory, to save Nina do her the most damage, as the police, the guards and Beth all forge sexual relationships with her. Her only escape is back into a world in which Gabriel's malevolent influence and Ingrid's need are unavoidable. Lewis's language is stripped to the bone, with fragmented sentences and an adolescent's vocabulary making this a chilling first-person account of an emotionally anesthetized girl compelled to continue her self-destruction. Searing, graphic and not for the faint of heart, Lewis's novel is a punch to the gut readers will feel long after the shock of its impact has subsided. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Posthumous work by the unflinching Lewis (The Second Suspect, 1998, etc.) offers a chilling glimpse inside the head of a young prostitute forsaken by family and lovers. Living in an unnamed suburb in the well-appointed house of her absent parents, who seem to care not at all what she does, first-person narrator Nina (her professional name) begins to turn tricks in the parking lot of the local train station. Details emerge in nonchalant fashion, described in a deadpan voice. Nina has had some experience with drugs, and she's been locked up, possibly for psychiatric reasons. Her actions, which at first seem innocent or helpless, soon turn needy and ugly. Then Nina meets the customer who decides her fate, a rough guy who takes her home to his fancy house ("going up the driveway seemed to take longer than getting there") to meet his good-looking wife ("nothing suburban or matronly going on, which was a decided relief"). Rough trade turns to horrible as Nina is forced to witness the man's sadistic treatment of his spouse before he turns on her. Shockingly, Nina comes back for more, motivated by true human sympathy for the wife. Ingrid's self-loathing prompts Nina to stay with her and even to suggest that she try to make a break and get away. The two women begin a love affair that stirs the apparently influential husband to vengeance; he has Nina arrested, then incarcerated in solitary confinement, which probably would have lasted forever if not for the loving intervention her counselor and therapist, Beth. The story constantly piques your expectations, but the denouement is never assured, though you're sure it will be gruesome and brutal. Despite her penchant for slurry colloquial sentencefragments, Lewis is an enormously compelling writer: astute, risky, and unapologetic. Unsettling in its depiction of sadistic sex acts and hauntingly sad in its portrayal of a lonely soul tittering on the edge of emotional oblivion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852424565
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Series: High Risk Books Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2005

    horrifying

    Only read this if you are curious about prostitution. This book shows you a side of sexuality that you may not want to see. The first half of the book has more momentum and the second half sort of sags a bit. It's a bit bleak at times. But her objective voice makes this a good choice for reading.

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