The Answers: Book summary and reviews of The Answers by Catherine Lacey

The Answers

by Catherine Lacey

The Answers by Catherine Lacey
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2017
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

An urgent, propulsive novel about a woman learning to negotiate her ailment and its various aftereffects via the simulacrum of a perfect romantic relationship.

In Catherine Lacey's ambitious second novel we are introduced to Mary, a young woman living in New York City and struggling to cope with a body that has betrayed her. All but paralyzed with pain, Mary seeks relief from a New Agey treatment called Pneuma Adaptive Kinesthesia, PAKing for short. And, remarkably, it works. But PAKing is prohibitively expensive and Mary is dead broke. So she scours Craigslist for fast-cash jobs and finds herself applying for the "Girlfriend Experiment," the brainchild of an eccentric actor, Kurt Sky, who is determined to find the perfect relationship, even if that means paying different women to fulfill distinctive roles. Mary is hired as the "Emotional Girlfriend", certainly better than the "Anger Girlfriend" or the "Maternal Girlfriend", and is pulled into Kurt's ego-driven and messy attempt at human connection.

Told in her signature spiraling prose, The Answers is full of the singular yet universal insights readers have come to expect from Lacey. It is a gorgeous hybrid of the plot- and the idea-driven novel that will leave you reeling.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Huffington Post's 33 Titles To Add To Your Shelf in 2017
Elle's 25 Most Anticipated Books by Women for 2017
Buzzfeed's 32 Most Exciting Books Coming Out in 2017
Chicago Reader's Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017

BookBrowse Review
"The Answers is a brave attempt at something new - part sci-fi, part technological thriller, part romance. But as this genre mashup attempts to explore the scientific implications of modern love, it fails to coalesce into something tangible and real. Hardly any of the characters are likable or engaging, and the book shifts perspectives too often without warning, asking readers to become invested in characters they barely know." - Matt Grant

Other Reviews
"Starred Review. Lacey displays an exceptional ability to articulate the elusiveness of knowing others, as well as the desire to find meaning and trust within. " - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A singular novel; as unexpected as it is rich." - Kirkus

"Recommended for those who appreciate thought-provoking and imaginative literary fiction." - Library Journal

"Surreal, thought-provoking, and intriguingly untidy" - Booklist

"An adept novel...Lacey digs into the choppy turf beneath a woman's relationship to her body, her identity and her search for balance between independence and meaningful relationships...Lacey doesn't give us answers, but she sure gives us a wild story with a memorable protagonist." - Shelf Awareness

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More Information

More Information

Catherine Lacey is the author of Nobody Is Ever Missing, winner of a 2016 Whiting Award and a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award. Her essays and fiction have been published widely and translated into Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, and German. Born in Mississippi, she is now based in Chicago.

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