I listened to this a couple of weeks ago and put off rating it because for the first time, I do not know how I feel about a book. I do know that I found its premise unpleasant; its characters unusual; and its plot unconvincing. Even so, it kept my attention, the writer shows talent, and I thought about the main character long after I finished the book. I settled on 3 stars for these reasons and added a 4th star as a salute to a writer who threw out all the rules established by authors and publishers grappling for mass sales.
The unpleasant premise to which I refer involves Holly Bunn, a prostitute whose good looks, pleasant demeanor, and strange naivete generates a demand for her services that raise her rates to amazing heights. The story follows her through a handful of years when she falls for a virgin, who is also a twisted vigilante; connects with the wrong people; and eventually ends up in dire circumstances - and yet, she somehow remains simple and guileless.
The author's portrayal of Holly - a prostitute's lack of bitterness, her strange combination of kindness and selfish behavior toward those close to her, and her response to events in comparison to the responses of others - is the best aspect of this book. Perhaps his goal was to simply tell a story, but his main character is intriguing enough to carry an unlikely plot that takes place in the darkest parts of society.
Overall, try this book if you are extremely bored with your usual consumption or if you are a bit experimental with your reading.
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Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 4
I wasn’t quite certain just what I was getting into when I started this audiobook: Holly Bunn, the main character is an interesting mix of savvy and utterly naïve, with a Pullman carload of issues that she hasn’t ever really dealt with. Holly left home at 12 after being abused by her father, not believed by her mother, and with the most elementary of education she has managed to parlay her looks and her willingness to sell herself to a select clientele into a reasonably secure life.
Narration of this story was provided by Lara Wells, and it took me a bit of time to appreciate her style as being fitting for Holly and her demeanour. Like many who have suffered through abuse and are so involved in surviving to the next day, Holly has never dealt with the aftermath of her issues, and appears to almost disassociate herself from her horrific past.
If Holly and her many twisted reactions, approaches and issues weren’t enough, add in the man that she fantasizes about: a security specialist with his own little ‘sideline’ and some odd uses of religious beliefs to justify their decisions, choices and behaviors and this story just never quite stops twisting and turning.
With vigilante justice, questionable life choices, a nearly illiterate main character who, if not for her beauty would be dead by now, this takes transgressive narration to a whole different level. It’s even more interesting to find yourself understanding and admiring, at least on a superficial level, the utilization of the skills and advantages that both characters do possess as they seek their own ends.
Wetterman created an interesting story that doesn’t fit into any one genre; alternating first person narrative between Holly and Isa that have distinct differences yet are strikingly similar. Two broken people, feeding their own needs for security or justice, and never quite making the adjustment to see right from wrong.
I received an audiobook copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility,