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novel that brilliantly captures solitude, sex,
and the contemporary single woman
Isabelle, a woman in her thirties without any of the trappings of a "grown-up" life, has just been fired from her job at a San Francisco phone company. Returning to the midwestern suburb of her childhood, Standardsville, Illinois, she contends with her dating single mother, a neighbor who once appeared on The Honeymooners, and an ex-boyfriend. She also becomes a "mystery shopper" for a temp agency, posing as a variety of potential tenants for newly built suburban communities to access their exclusive services. Enchanted by the possiblities of disguise, Isabelle spins a web of lies that keeps the world at a distance until she unearths long-kept secrets that force her to rethink everything she thought she knew.
Insightful and entertaining, this gracefully written novel explores a generation defined by reinvention in a landscape gradually being devoured by developers. Depicting the comedy of being a grown-up still coming of age, Maud Casey beautifully and evocatively reveals how people narrate their lives to counter the chaotic randomness of modern existence.
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