The Exhibition of Persephone Q
Percy is pregnant. She hasn't told a soul. Probably she should tell her husband--certainly she means to--but one night she wakes up to find she no longer recognizes him. Now, instead of sleeping, Percy is spending her nights taking walks through her neighborhood, all the while fretting over her marriage, her impending motherhood, and the sinister ways the city is changing.Amid this alienation--from her husband, home, and rapidly changing body--a package arrives. In it: an exhibition catalog for a photography show. The photographs consist of a series of digitally manipulated images of a woman lying on a bed in a red room. It takes a moment for even Percy to notice that the woman is herself . . . but no one else sees the resemblance.Percy must now come to grips with the fundamental question of identity in the digital age: To what extent do we own our own image, and to what extent is that image shaped by the eyes of others?Capturing perfectly the haunted atmosphere of Manhattan immediately after 9/11--and the simmering insanity of America ever since--Jessi Jezewska Stevens's The Exhibition of Persephone Q is a darkly witty satire about how easy it is to lose ownership of our own selves.

The Exhibition of Persephone Q Details

TitleThe Exhibition of Persephone Q
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 3rd, 2020
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN-139780374150921
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Novels

The Exhibition of Persephone Q Review

  • Adam Dalva
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting, idiosyncratic, often captivating book, out this March. I was especially drawn to Jezewska Stevens's language - she is a special talent on the prose level - and the plot's central question is great: is the lead the subject of the nude photographs in her ex-fiance's art exhibition? I love debut novels for their ambition, and was thrilled to see a surprise 3-part structure emerge late.I do have slight quibbles with the thematic over-usage of pomegranates and a slightly greater issues Interesting, idiosyncratic, often captivating book, out this March. I was especially drawn to Jezewska Stevens's language - she is a special talent on the prose level - and the plot's central question is great: is the lead the subject of the nude photographs in her ex-fiance's art exhibition? I love debut novels for their ambition, and was thrilled to see a surprise 3-part structure emerge late.I do have slight quibbles with the thematic over-usage of pomegranates and a slightly greater issues with the time-frame: this is a 9/11 book that doesn't need to be set when it is. In a way, these issues are compliments. The book doesn't need to show its work to be smart, and it doesn't need the inherent drama of 2001 to be dramatic. I'm excited to follow this one, and this writer.
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  • Meike
    January 1, 1970
    So let me get this straight: Our protagonist, sleepless, malleable Percy, quit her job at an auction house, now works as a proof reader for a self-help author on intimacy and sex (oh, the symbolism!), and suddenly finds a picture of her naked sleeping self (shown without her head) at the center of an art exhibition by her ex-fiancé, to whom she still refers as her fiancé. She also stops talking to her Bulgarian new economy husband because she suddenly feels the urge to pinch his nose while he's So let me get this straight: Our protagonist, sleepless, malleable Percy, quit her job at an auction house, now works as a proof reader for a self-help author on intimacy and sex (oh, the symbolism!), and suddenly finds a picture of her naked sleeping self (shown without her head) at the center of an art exhibition by her ex-fiancé, to whom she still refers as her fiancé. She also stops talking to her Bulgarian new economy husband because she suddenly feels the urge to pinch his nose while he's asleep. Oh, yes, and people around her do not believe that it's her body in the exhibition. Is this really a book about losing ownership of the self in the digital age, about, hold on!, identity? Nope, it's a book about a pregnant woman whose adrift in her own life and who, for rather mysterious reasons, experiences an existential crisis - considering her behavior, the fact that people around her do not believe her seems only logical. Yes, the novel does talk about Percy's alienation - from New York post-9/11, from her husband, and mainly from herself - but as none of the characters are believable and their motivations remain unclear, there is almost no impact. And then there's the symbolism/metaphor overload (the self help author, the image without the head, the exhibition itself, Percy's real name, the rotting face, the psychic...) that points to...yes, to what exactly? It's all a lofty cloud of allusions, alluding to nothing tangible, nothing of substance. If a book written in 2019 about alienation in the big city seems less relevant for postmodern audiences than Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, published in freakin' 1910 and dealing with the same topic, the book has a problem. In Greek mythology, Persephone is not only associated with fertility (pregnant Percy, you know), she also becomes the queen of the underworld after Hades abducts and marries her. Hades gives Persephone some pomegranate seeds to eat, and because she tasted food in the underworld, she subsequently has to spend every winter there. Once again: You can connect the Persephone myth with Percy's story in a myriad ways (NY, the husband, the child, the art world, the ex-fiancé, you name it), but you can also leave it be, because there is nothing substantial to gain by doing that. So all in all, this novel deals with well-known topics and packs them in an overblown, meandering story, thus creating a web of ideas and allusions that unfortunately did not manage to captivate me.
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  • Paris (parisperusing)
    January 1, 1970
    "It was unsettling to think that so many of the people who mattered in my life didn't believe me when I told them who I was. That is me, I said. It's me in the photographs. No one seemed to value my conviction. I was reminded that the people closest to you suffer from a bias. They get used to your habits, used to your face. They hardly see you at all." Manhattan, 2001: the towers have fallen, terror strikes the air. Though when thirtysomething Percy Q stirs from her sleep one night to find "It was unsettling to think that so many of the people who mattered in my life didn't believe me when I told them who I was. That is me, I said. It's me in the photographs. No one seemed to value my conviction. … I was reminded that the people closest to you suffer from a bias. They get used to your habits, used to your face. They hardly see you at all." Manhattan, 2001: the towers have fallen, terror strikes the air. Though when thirtysomething Percy Q stirs from her sleep one night to find herself a foreigner in her own bed, no longer in harmony with the stranger that has become her husband, she takes to sleepwalking through the soft dark of the city, unscathed by the paranoia that seems to have plagued those around her.It is always during these dark wanderings that our secretly-pregnant somnambulist moves to step outside — outside of her life, her commitments, her marriage — in order to stave the urge to smother her husband in his sleep. As the “nebula” grows inside her, Percy gets by on the good faith and consultations of strange peers, both on and offline. Among them: a self-help author, a financially-distraught psychic, a friendly neighbor who suddenly (or intentionally) vanishes without a word, leaving his wife a widow overnight. Then on one opportune day, she comes home to an abandoned package. Inside: an art show catalog with a sequence of the same photograph depicting a woman resting naked in her red bedroom as the world, before and after the collapse, morphs around her. As she recites the name of the presentation, she realizes just what — and who — she’s looking at: “The Exhibition of Persephone Q,” an invention created by a ghost from her past.This was a smart, lovely, and cleverly insane little book. One less frightened by our pregnant sleepwalker’s nightly rituals than it is with her unbidden journey for purpose and validation. Made all the more intricate against the backdrop of post-9/11 madness, Jessi Jezewska Stevens’ The Exhibition of Persephone Q is a wonderful debut novel of the pleasant mania of losing and finding one’s self in a strange, drifting world. Moreover, it proves tragedy doesn’t just give rise to depression, as Stevens tenderly demonstrates how disaster can also be a door: an excuse to exit or enter a life with or without warning.Though a tad jarring at times for the mathematically-challenged, like myself, I wholly admired Stevens’ fresh, nostalgic, inquisitive style and the added touch of cool she gives to Percy’s moderately indecisive demeanor. If you fell prey to Halle Butler’s meandering prose in The New Me, the biting wit of Catherine Lacey’s Certain American States or were rapt with the delirium of Danzy Senna’s New People, you’ll devour this book as voraciously as I did.If you liked my review, feel free to follow me @parisperusing on Instagram.
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    I seriously did not understand this novel. It started out promising. It had this haunting quality to it, but things quickly started to steer off course halfway through. I felt like I was watching an episode of "The Twilight Zone" but in book form. I enjoy a quirky story when I'm in the mood for one but this was a little too weird. Such a bizarre and head-scratching premise. Everything felt pretentious. The author was trying WAY TOO HARD to sound clever and sophisticated. The main protagonist, I seriously did not understand this novel. It started out promising. It had this haunting quality to it, but things quickly started to steer off course halfway through. I felt like I was watching an episode of "The Twilight Zone" but in book form. I enjoy a quirky story when I'm in the mood for one but this was a little too weird. Such a bizarre and head-scratching premise. Everything felt pretentious. The author was trying WAY TOO HARD to sound clever and sophisticated. The main protagonist, Percy was the most emotionally flat, creepiest character I've ever read. But at the same time, she had absolutely no depth or substance. Basically she scared the crap out of me. The ending left me feeling hallowed and annoyed. It definitely gave me a headache. The prose was decent though. I think it's the positive thing I can really say. If you like morbid novels, then this one might work for you. Good luck with that. Thank you, Netgalley and FSG for the digital ARC.Release date: March 3, 2020
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  • Jonathan
    January 1, 1970
    I imagined the mist, the chill, the vast navy of the ocean, twin wands hovering over the shore. The world was trash. There was never enough. Lower Manhattan built upon it, we shipped whole landfills out to sea, on barges bellowing mighty horns. And yet how much remained for us to sift, to sort. The ghost of shampoo bottles alighted on the shore. One could drown in all this trash..Jessi Jezewska Stevens has created a portrait of a lost woman so unremarkable and pedantic it came out resounding “I imagined the mist, the chill, the vast navy of the ocean, twin wands hovering over the shore. The world was trash. There was never enough. Lower Manhattan built upon it, we shipped whole landfills out to sea, on barges bellowing mighty horns. And yet how much remained for us to sift, to sort. The ghost of shampoo bottles alighted on the shore. One could drown in all this trash”..Jessi Jezewska Stevens has created a portrait of a lost woman so unremarkable and pedantic it came out resounding with subtle genius. Told in three parts and stretching her range to almost feel like three different writers, this debut novel had me holding on to every pompous word, each one a small piece of debris from a shipwreck keeping me afloat in the ocean of this propulsive book. Reminiscent of Ottessa Moshfegh’s unremarkable and sometimes unlikable protagonists, The Exhibition of Persephone Q a dark and masterfully satirical look at being lost and paranoid in a time where everyone was on edge..Percy is pregnant, living in post 9/11 New York working as a editor for a self help writer, she also feels a strange distance from her husband that she can’t explain. Her humdrum life plays out in a sensitive time period, simply existing until one day she receives an anonymous package in the mail from an exhibit by her ex fiancé that displays a woman on a bed in a series of digitally manipulated photos, and Percy soon realizes the woman is her, or is it? We don’t know, we honestly don’t care that much, but the paranoia grabs Percy by the throat and wont let go. No one believes her, thought to be crazy, a lost woman looking for attention. This strange novel changes when we hit part two to reveal a master class written backstory of Percy, and then the finale in act three pulls everything together. A book that sadly I feel won’t be widely popular but should get more attention with its looming release date March 3rd. Don’t sleep on this one!
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  • June
    January 1, 1970
    This was an interesting premise, and the narrator's mood is relatable for anyone who has even been avoidant in the face of a major life change (or changes). There were times I found myself skimming a bit, especially over that particularly long internet comment about waxing. The setting in New York immediately after 9/11 also didn't quite fit or ring true to my memories of that time, and I rather wondered why it was necessary to set it then, or any particular time at all.I read this entirely on a This was an interesting premise, and the narrator's mood is relatable for anyone who has even been avoidant in the face of a major life change (or changes). There were times I found myself skimming a bit, especially over that particularly long internet comment about waxing. The setting in New York immediately after 9/11 also didn't quite fit or ring true to my memories of that time, and I rather wondered why it was necessary to set it then, or any particular time at all.I read this entirely on a flight, and found it great for that atmosphere--it moved quickly and didn't make me cry in public.Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for a digital ARC.
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  • Nicolaus Stengl
    January 1, 1970
    Jessi Jezewska Stevens The Exhibition of Persephone Q is a compelling and strange debut novel. Set against the still smoldering, soot covered trees of Post-9/11 New York City, the novel follows a newly pregnant woman, Percy, a kind of modern Prufrockian heroine, who one night wakes to find that she no longer recognizes her husband, and then attempt to suffocate(?) by pinching his nose. Later, Percy receives a mysterious package that contains a photography art book with photos featuring a Jessi Jezewska Stevens’ “The Exhibition of Persephone Q” is a compelling and strange debut novel. Set against the still smoldering, soot covered trees of Post-9/11 New York City, the novel follows a newly pregnant woman, Percy, a kind of modern Prufrockian heroine, who one night wakes to find that she no longer recognizes her husband, and then attempt to suffocate(?) by pinching his nose. Later, Percy receives a mysterious package that contains a photography art book with photos featuring a sleeping woman lying in a red room, who Percy believes to be herself but no one else sees the resemblance. An odd plot, yes, but narrative pulls you in. If drawn-out, the narrative would look like a spiral or vortex. The narratives spins and revolves, nearing the liminal space of dreams and sleep, receding and pulling us back toward reality. And as one would expect, the reader never feels situated, we experience the uncanny with Percy. Rather than being an impediment to the reader, I found that these complex features aided in Stevens’ novel; she uses her Lynchian plot and mesmeric narrative to delve deeper into the stygian crags and bogs of alienation, loneliness, and selfhood in the Millennial generation.
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  • Aharon
    January 1, 1970
    Not exactly bad, but part of the Benjamin Kunkel/Ken Kalfus school: semi-stylish gestures toward meaning, ending up as languid mush.
  • Stacy Kingsley
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a goodreads giveaway, and I was excited to read it, until I read it. The Exhibition of Persephone Q by Jessi Jezewska Stephens sounded promising. A young woman, Percy (not my real name), finds herself pregnant, married, and unable to sleep because she keeps holding her husbands nose closed when he sleeps. Her husband, Misha, has no reaction, and this scares her even more than the fact that she keeps doing it. She does worry that if it keeps going she will end up suffocation I won this book in a goodreads giveaway, and I was excited to read it, until I read it. The Exhibition of Persephone Q by Jessi Jezewska Stephens sounded promising. A young woman, Percy (not my real name), finds herself pregnant, married, and unable to sleep because she keeps holding her husbands nose closed when he sleeps. Her husband, Misha, has no reaction, and this scares her even more than the fact that she keeps doing it. She does worry that if it keeps going she will end up suffocation him, and she keeps letting us (the readers) know that she loves him and she has no idea why she is doing it. She then finds that her picture is in an exhibition of photography put on by her ex-fiance, who she keeps referring to as her fiance. The book seems to meander back and forth through many things that happen or conversations that Percy has. With so little action I found that it felt like it wasn't going anywhere, and at the end I felt that this was true. The actions she takes against Misha aren't resolved, and we never really find out why she has been holding his nose closed. The reader going through this with her, and her hanging out with her ex-fiance (who is annoyingly referred to as the fiance throughout the entire book, which makes it become tedious), and her pregnancy, and her inability to sleep, and nothing seems to really come together. This book seems to desire to be about the alienation of Percy, but all of this she brought on herself. She is the one who no longer sleeps with her husband because she keeps pinching his nose closed. She is the one walking around New York in the middle of the night. She is the one who chases her ex-fiance to get answers as to why her picture is in his exhibit. And, even though this takes place in post 9-11 New York, the setting doesn't seem important, and besides some conversation, this could take place at any time, anywhere. It doesn't seem to pick up on the paranoia and trauma that followed the 9-11 attacks. Although, maybe this is represented in how paranoid and disturbed Percy seems to be. Either way, I felt this book tried to hard. The language used didn't seem realistic to me, and I didn't find Percy to be an interesting or relatable character. The language and prose was overdrawn and at times I felt the author was trying too hard to make it sound smart. Of course, if you know anything about the original Persephone, some of the story will make sense, but that is only if you know the story. This book will be released in February of 2020, and I am glad I won a copy because now I won't have to buy one. I can't say I'd recommend this one.
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  • Marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate enough to win a copy of this book as an advanced reader through Goodreads.The author, Jessi Jezewska Stevens has demonstrated a remarkable talent. She has taken a story about a woman in post 9-11 New York City and woven it so skillfully and demonstrated her flexibility so well that when I read Parts 2 and 3, I actually thought it was a different writer, so distinctly did the style change. Impressive.Part 1 presents a young pregnant woman and the insanity that is New York City, I was fortunate enough to win a copy of this book as an advanced reader through Goodreads.The author, Jessi Jezewska Stevens has demonstrated a remarkable talent. She has taken a story about a woman in post 9-11 New York City and woven it so skillfully and demonstrated her flexibility so well that when I read Parts 2 and 3, I actually thought it was a different writer, so distinctly did the style change. Impressive.Part 1 presents a young pregnant woman and the insanity that is New York City, especially after 9-11 with the mindset of people being adrift and seeking a safe haven, something or somewhere that made sense in the aftermath of chaos.She has trouble dealing with her emotions, tries to kill her husband, although she later shows that she is in love with him. She takes long walks in questionable neighborhoods. She befriends and is befriended by strange characters. She seems not only unable to help herself but no one else either. She buys a set of chef's knives in the belief that they will make her an excellent cook and mother. Reality seems illusive.She gets a package in the mail announcing the opening of an exhibit by her former fiance and is convinced that the woman in the pictures is her. No one; however, believes her and at this point it had me thinking that she is lost in a fantasy world.Eventually, she relates the story of the missing years between her fiance leaving and her marriage and fills in a lot of the answers to the questions as to why she seems to be such a lost soul.By the end of the book, she has changed and I was feeling connected to her and understanding that she could be anyone's sister, friend or colleague dealing with so much at a difficult time and rooting for her to feel accepting and accepted. Her actions with a friend who needed medical attention showed the beginnings of her being able to deal with and care about others which gave me hope for Percy Q.I really liked this story, especially Parts 2 and 3, which made Part 1 much clearer.
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  • Agata Rozpedek
    January 1, 1970
    The book wasnt really my cup of tea. Protagonist mainly just walks at night and makes her life more difficult than it needs to be. The book wasn’t really my cup of tea. Protagonist mainly just walks at night and makes her life more difficult than it needs to be.
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  • Erwin
    January 1, 1970
    The best way to describe Percy, the narrator and main character, is in the words of her husband Misha: "You work of art". This could be taken in more ways than one... obviously.Stevens gives us a character in Percy that is quite interesting but also lost and confused as she works her way through a post 9/11 New York City. Married she wakes up one night and looks at her husband Misha sleeping soundly next to her... and somehow does not recognize him. He is different she thinks. She tries to wake The best way to describe Percy, the narrator and main character, is in the words of her husband Misha: "You work of art". This could be taken in more ways than one... obviously.Stevens gives us a character in Percy that is quite interesting but also lost and confused as she works her way through a post 9/11 New York City. Married she wakes up one night and looks at her husband Misha sleeping soundly next to her... and somehow does not recognize him. He is different she thinks. She tries to wake him up but can't and then in a curious act holds his nostrils so he cannot breathe and holds him for some time. Afterwards she wonders why she would try and kill her husband.This is just the start of a long journey with Percy as she tells us about her marriage, her pregnancy (she never tells Misha), her friends???, her former fiance, and then the center of the story where she believes she is the woman in her ex-fiance's new photographic exhibition showing her naked, but identity unknown, as only her body is visible and not her face.Like many individuals Percy perceives her existence in a mixed way:“I felt myself moving in parallel worlds, two lives, one in which I was always on view, the other in which no one thought to look twice.”And when she tried to convince everyone that she is the girl in the pictures...She cries out in frustration:“It was unsettling to think that so many of the people who mattered in my life didn’t believe me when I told them who I was. That is me, I said. It’s me in the photographs. No one seemed to value my convictions…I was reminded that the people closest to you suffer from a bias. They get used to your habits, used to your face. They hardly see you at all.”
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  • Susan Jaken
    January 1, 1970
    Persephone (Percy) is drifting. The chapters of her life seem unconnected; there are too many fragmented versions of her self. In contrast, there is just one version of a photo of Percy in which she is sleeping nude in her room. Unbeknownst to Percy, an artist creates a series of copies for an exhibition in a NYC gallery. In these photos Percy's original image remains constant whereas the objects in the room and the buildings viewed from the window are serially deleted. Both Percy and the image Persephone (Percy) is drifting. The chapters of her life seem unconnected; there are too many fragmented versions of her self. In contrast, there is just one version of a photo of Percy in which she is sleeping nude in her room. Unbeknownst to Percy, an artist creates a series of copies for an exhibition in a NYC gallery. In these photos Percy's original image remains constant whereas the objects in the room and the buildings viewed from the window are serially deleted. Both Percy and the image of Percy are constantly in transition. How does one navigate when "the past returns to you in waves... so that the ground on which you stand is always shifting" and the future, which is not necessarily predicated on the past, is " not an experience to be lived... but an object to try on, like a shirt”. She strives to gather her "own impressions before someone else can tell you what you saw, what you are seeing". In this debut novel, Stevens uses her unique voice to describe Percy's journey towards assembling a coherent self and a strategy to become the best version of herself. This is a very enjoyable novel filled with crisp metaphors as well as smart references to post-modern artists and thought leaders. It’s packed with beautiful prose and sly comments that invite a second read. Highly recommended!
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  • Kyra Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Set in the wake of 9/11 in NYC, Percy finds that she suddenly feels disconnected from her husband. To fend off the urge to suffocate him in his sleep, she finds solace in midnight walks around NYC. Percy floats along, pondering over the nebula growing inside of her that shes kept hidden and her changing body, the responsibilities of motherhood, her relationships with those around her, including her husband, her psychic, a neighbor who mysteriously vanished, and her self-help author employer. One Set in the wake of 9/11 in NYC, Percy finds that she suddenly feels disconnected from her husband. To fend off the urge to suffocate him in his sleep, she finds solace in midnight walks around NYC. Percy floats along, pondering over the “nebula” growing inside of her that she’s kept hidden and her changing body, the responsibilities of motherhood, her relationships with those around her, including her husband, her psychic, a neighbor who mysteriously vanished, and her self-help author employer. One day, Percy comes home to a package with her apartment number on it. It’s an exhibition catalog for an art show comprised of several digitally edited photographs of a nude woman lying on a bed. Percy comes to the realization that the artist is her ex-fiancé and recognizes the model as herself but no one else can see the resemblance. Percy proceeds to struggle with self-ownership and a sense of purpose. Percy understandably feels lost and alienated from herself and the things familiar to her in anticipation of major life changes. Brimming with symbolism and wit, this a haunting and slightly deranged meditation on love, motherhood, self-awareness and the coupling of one’s past and present in order to form an identity. Thank you for the gifted book, FSG Books!
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  • Jaylen Lopez
    January 1, 1970
    This is a deceptively complex debut novel about identity. Set immediately after 9/11, the narrator, Percy Q, is pregnant and has yet to tell her husband. Instead, she finds herself impulsively pinching his nose while he is asleep, yet this does not wake or suffocate him. Avoiding her husband and her violent impulses, Percy becomes nocturnal, roaming New York while considering her marriage and impending motherhood. Things further unravel when Percy receives a mysterious exhibition catalog in the This is a deceptively complex debut novel about identity. Set immediately after 9/11, the narrator, Percy Q, is pregnant and has yet to tell her husband. Instead, she finds herself impulsively pinching his nose while he is asleep, yet this does not wake or suffocate him. Avoiding her husband and her violent impulses, Percy becomes nocturnal, roaming New York while considering her marriage and impending motherhood. Things further unravel when Percy receives a mysterious exhibition catalog in the mail, featuring images of a woman asleep in bed while the city outside of the woman’s window changes in each photo. Percy is convinced that she is the woman in the photos, yet no one believes her. What follows is a narrative in which Percy uses the mystery of the exhibition to figure out who she is, confronting her past and its inevitable impact on her future.There is so much to unpack in this short novel. Jessi Jezewska Stevens structures the novel in three parts (with the second part being a novella of sorts documenting Percy’s past), with each part showcasing Stevens’s strengths as a writer. Percy’s odd and witty personality reminded me of Ottessa Moshfegh’s characters, so if you like her work, I think you’ll dig this. A few passages made me laugh out loud, which I was not expecting. The book presents many questions about self-delusion and identity, which has kept this story lodged in my brain since I finished. This book was released on 3/3, and hopefully this puts it on your radar if it’s not already because it is SO GOOD. If the premise interests you at all, definitely pick this one up.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    Personal rating: 2.5 This book was something that you would read at 3 a.m. at the laundromat. Or in your AP/College freshman English class. The prose is interesting; it manages to create atmosphere without telling exactly what the main character is seeing/doing/walking through. There are parts of it that I really enjoyed; Part 2 of the story was lovely (even though the subject matter was a little bleak). This was a story that didn't give a lot of answers, but just kept giving me questions. The Personal rating: 2.5 This book was something that you would read at 3 a.m. at the laundromat. Or in your AP/College freshman English class. The prose is interesting; it manages to create atmosphere without telling exactly what the main character is seeing/doing/walking through. There are parts of it that I really enjoyed; Part 2 of the story was lovely (even though the subject matter was a little bleak). This was a story that didn't give a lot of answers, but just kept giving me questions. The whole thing was a metaphor or an analogy for something, I'm sure. I'm just not sure of what.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Well. Percy is drifting and making unwise decisions. It's post 9/11 NYC and she's feeling alienated from everything, including her poor husband (I felt for the guy). She walks the neighborhood talking to herself and musing about all sorts of things. The fact that her ex-fiance is about to exhibit photos of her naked body (without her head) makes it worse. If you're familiar with the myth of Persephone you might look for its themes- some of the story is here, sort of. Thanks to the publisher for Well. Percy is drifting and making unwise decisions. It's post 9/11 NYC and she's feeling alienated from everything, including her poor husband (I felt for the guy). She walks the neighborhood talking to herself and musing about all sorts of things. The fact that her ex-fiance is about to exhibit photos of her naked body (without her head) makes it worse. If you're familiar with the myth of Persephone you might look for its themes- some of the story is here, sort of. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. For fans of literary fiction.
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  • Dena Soffer
    January 1, 1970
    The world had become the sort of demonic place where lattes and cranes and even buildings fall, such that when they did, a part of me resisted any feeling of surprise, as if I ought to have expected it all along. (19)A few weeks ago Id been suffocating my husband, and now I was chopping vegetables for soup! It was undoubtedly a step in the right direction. (35)There is a time in every womans life when you can have whatever you want. I was in that age. (120) “The world had become the sort of demonic place where lattes and cranes and even buildings fall, such that when they did, a part of me resisted any feeling of surprise, as if I ought to have expected it all along.” (19)“A few weeks ago I’d been suffocating my husband, and now I was chopping vegetables – for soup! It was undoubtedly a step in the right direction.” (35)“There is a time in every woman’s life when you can have whatever you want. I was in that age.” (120)
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  • Jessica Giles
    January 1, 1970
    I was happy to have won this book as a Goodreads GiveawayI very rarely give up on books simply for it being a bad book, whether that be character, storyline, or writing flaws and this book is no exception. my lack of finishing this book is simply it was not my time to read it. I was not in the correct head space to read a slow burn like this one. I could see its potential however, i lost the gumption about 75 pages in.
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  • Hope
    January 1, 1970
    This book is literally just about a woman that is so lost and really I think that a lot of people have that moment in their life where things change and they dont know who they are anymore or what theyre doing or why theyre doing it.The symbolism that the synopsis promised was lost on me tbh. I just found Percy to be very relatable. This book is literally just about a woman that is so lost and really I think that a lot of people have that moment in their life where things change and they don’t know who they are anymore or what they’re doing or why they’re doing it.The symbolism that the synopsis promised was lost on me tbh. I just found Percy to be very relatable.
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  • James Beggarly
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful book that captures the paranoia and floating unease in the days right after 9/11. A married woman finds out shes pregnant and cant quite figure out how to tell her husband. Her old boyfriend has taken an old picture of her in bed and put it into his gallery show and no one believes the woman when she says thats her. A fun read, as unsettling as it is thoughtful. Wonderful book that captures the paranoia and floating unease in the days right after 9/11. A married woman finds out she’s pregnant and can’t quite figure out how to tell her husband. Her old boyfriend has taken an old picture of her in bed and put it into his gallery show and no one believes the woman when she says that’s her. A fun read, as unsettling as it is thoughtful.
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  • Marilynn Farmer
    January 1, 1970
    Im struggling with what to write about this book. I liked it, but not sure why. The protagonist is very odd, yet very relatable at the same time. Sometimes the writing was confusing, sometimes it was blindingly brilliant. The ending is somewhat abrupt and will perhaps be unsatisfying for some. I’m struggling with what to write about this book. I liked it, but not sure why. The protagonist is very odd, yet very relatable at the same time. Sometimes the writing was confusing, sometimes it was blindingly brilliant. The ending is somewhat abrupt and will perhaps be unsatisfying for some.
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  • Kristina Tate
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a great satire filled with eccentric characters like a a self-help authpr, a psychic, and a neighbor who disappears. It's funny, entertaining, and makes you think. Also sparse and a quick read!
  • Beth Horton
    January 1, 1970
    "I'd rather tutor lunatics."
  • Liam
    January 1, 1970
    This is an ambitious and well-written debut, which is well worth your time even if certain threads arent resolved by the end of the novel. Lighten up, folks! this is a writer to watch This is an ambitious and well-written debut, which is well worth your time even if certain threads aren’t resolved by the end of the novel. Lighten up, folks! this is a writer to watch
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  • Ashley Simoneau
    January 1, 1970
    This was a good book. I enjoyed the story & I'm glad that I received a copy of this book through good reads for an honest review.
  • Faith 09
    January 1, 1970
    Very interesting.
  • gracie
    January 1, 1970
    magical and sad and i dont want to leave magical and sad and i don’t want to leave
  • Rick
    January 1, 1970
    I found little of interest in this storyof the angst of an unknowing model.Luckily, like most models, it was thin.
  • Kelsqi
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book from the publisher through Goodreads for review. I'm still not sure how to feel about this one, it's a weird book. It's about a pregnant woman...who's losing her mind? Who's depressed? I'm pretty sure it's a fever dream but I'm not mad at it 🤷♀🤔 I won this book from the publisher through Goodreads for review. I'm still not sure how to feel about this one, it's a weird book. It's about a pregnant woman...who's losing her mind? Who's depressed? I'm pretty sure it's a fever dream but I'm not mad at it 🤷🏼‍♀️🤔
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