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.
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On Nylon Magazine's Best Books for June 2017