One of today's most admired new voices blends social critique and a bittersweet love story marked by both style and substance.
Critics hailed Meghan Daum's My Misspent Youth as "pretty damn irresistible" (New York Newsday) for its fresh, funny, bracing take on modern life. In The Quality of Life Report, Meghan picks up on a timely theme and embodies it to perfection in the persona of Lucinda Trout.
Jaded by a life of eating from plastic containers, dodging the feng shui in her boss's office, and reporting on thong underwear as a lifestyle correspondent for New York morning television, the thirtyish Trout is ripe for escape. So when the rent on her tiny mouse-ridden apartment doubles overnight, she heads for Prairie City, USA, to feed her own and every New Yorker's heartland fantasy in dispatches tagged "The Quality of Life Report." "Real life" is what Lucinda's afterand, if possible, a man who knows how to wield a hammer. Fantasy becomes reality (in Prairie City, deviled eggs are a delicacy and fake nails are de rigueur); but reality has surprises up its sleeve. It takes Lucinda through an epiphany and an unlikely romance in a tale that is redemptive, wickedly witty, and heartbreaking all at once.
The New Yorker
Daum brings a crisp, wisecracking voice to her novel about Lucinda, a life-style correspondent for a morning television show, who, in search of a more interesting life, leaves New York for Prairie City, a fictional Midwestern town.
The Washington Post - Heather Havrilesky
In The Quality of Life Report, Daum does her best work with little things -- minor scenes feel the most relevant, empty rooms the most populated. Like her heroine, the less interesting Daum is required to be, the more freedom she has to invent her own palatably melancholy universe out of rough edges and false starts.
The Boston Globe -Dan Wakefield
Daum has written a first-rate novel
The New York Times - Karen Karbo The Quality of Life Report is effervescent and companionable and may well be written off as chick lit, though it deserves better. Daum's enormous comic gift -- and her ability to use it in the service of fundamentally serious issues -- is an unexpected delight.
The Los Angeles Times - Mark Rozzo
… smart, stylish and sometimes downright hilarious.
Library Journal - Nancy Pearl
Daum alternates between what seems to want to be social commentary (but what's her point?) and satire (but there's no humor, unless you consider a horse ejaculating on a group of party goers funny).
...this is not mere chick lit, and men will enjoy it, too. It is a confident first novel, full of wit and deft social criticism....Daum is a rising star.
Booklist - Meredith Parets
Real life turns out to be complicated, and Daum raises big questions in her bracing, funny novel. At once hilarious and wistful, it's such a pleasure to read that after you turn the last page, you want to start over from the beginning and read it again.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Leolene Sorry, but it's depressing I have read a lot of chick lit and this is not chick lit. It is a commentary on life in the midwest and God help anyone who lives there if this is a true representation. It's well-written, don't get me wrong. But it's a book where at the end, I... Read More
Rated of 5
I recieved The Quality of Life Report as a gift recently, I usually don't read this type of book(mystery and horror for me), so I started this book with a not very open mind. This book is worth reading. Very simple and to the point. It's very... Read More
Rated of 5
by Kim W
I really enjoyed this book, and the satirical way that Meghan Daum tells the story had me laughing and crying, sometimes on the same page. The story is about a young woman named Lucinda Trout who's a television journalist for a NYC program, and... Read More
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