One's Company: Book summary and reviews of One's Company by Ashley Hutson

One's Company

A Novel

by Ashley Hutson

One's Company by Ashley Hutson X
One's Company by Ashley Hutson
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About this book

Book Summary

For readers of Ottessa Moshfegh and Mona Awad, this fearless debut chronicles one woman's escape into a world of obsessive imagination.

Bonnie Lincoln just wants to be left alone. To come home from work, shut out the voice that reminds her of some devastating losses, and unwind in front of the nostalgic, golden glow of her favorite TV show, Three's Company.

When Bonnie wins the lottery, a more grandiose vision―to completely shuck off her own troublesome identity―takes shape. She plans a drastic move to an isolated mountain retreat where she can re-create the iconic apartment set of Three's Company and slip into the lives of its main characters: no-nonsense Janet Wood, pleasantly airheaded Chrissy Snow, and confident Jack Tripper. While her best friend, Krystal, tries to drag her back to her old life, Bonnie is determined to transcend pain, trauma, and the baggage of her past by immersing herself in the ultimate binge-watch.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This darkly clever work dramatizes the necessity and fragility of illusions, showing how they can crumble when broadcast to the world. Hutson is off to a brilliant start." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Looks at trauma, wealth, and infatuation through a startlingly original lens." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This book is such a savvy, deadpan, moving meditation-unto-absurdity on obsession and trauma and throwaway television and the ways that our hobbies can hurt us and heal us and sometimes overwhelm us. I absolutely loved it." - Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You

"Like some uncanny hybrid of Tom McCarthy, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Mulholland Drive, Ashley Hutson's high concept black comedy, One's Company, packs deranged laughs against deep trauma in a no-holds-barred debut. Surreal, ambitious, and page-turning, the painful memory performance of Bonnie Lincoln's wish to live forever in a sitcom might be more realistic than the realism we think we know." - Blake Butler, author of Alice Knott

"Ashley Hutson's novel fearlessly takes on trauma, loneliness, madness, and desire in wholly unexpected ways. The dazzling imagination of the novel's formidable protagonist, Bonnie Lincoln, is rivaled only by that of her brilliant creator: One's Company is a totally original, bitterly funny, and emotionally complex tale about the power of fantasy to both save and destroy the things we cherish." - Maryse Meijer, author of The Seventh Mansion

This information about One's Company was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Ann B. (Kernville, CA)

Beyond the comfort of fantasy lies the unknowable fourth wall
Bonnie Lincoln has survived horrific trauma. Barely survived. When she wins the mother of all lotteries, Bonnie decides that she can indeed escape her pain, her trauma, and her past. All she needs is to trade her story for that of her favorite TV show characters. "My reality cracked open, and the television spooned another one on top." Bonnie buys a remote property, builds an identical re-creation of Three's Company. All alone, she not only binge-watches the eight seasons of episodes that ran from 1977 to 1984. She binge-lives the show, inhabiting each of the characters, year by year. But eventually she will have to face the unknowable fourth wall. I absolutely binge-read this novel, laughing with Bonnie one minute, aching for her the next minute -- aching for her through the bittersweet ending.

Judith S. (Marietta, GA)

one's company
Reading "one's company" is not unlike (I imagine) slowly, but steadily, descending into madness. The reader is given a tour through the mind of someone losing their grip on a reality that may not even be real. Being transported between the before and after (a specific event), we are privileged to listen to the inner thoughts of someone on the edge. If this is not disturbing enough, many of those thoughts, ideas and desires are ones that we have had ourselves.
The author invites us into a world we both recognize and are frightened or repulsed by. Throughout the whole, there is the sense that this story, this person is absurd. But is she?

Julie Z. (Oak Park, IL)

One's Company
Bonnie Lincoln has not had an easy life-both her mother and father died at an early age, leaving her without resources. She is "taken in" by her friend Krystal's family, but soon the mother, father, and brother are murdered in the grocery store which they own. Luckily, Bonnie wins a huge amount of money in the lottery, allowing her to escape her reality by building a life within the set of popular 70's sitcom "Three's Company". Bonnie creates a life in which she rotates living as each of the television show's characters; cutting herself off from all communication with the outside world.
In Bonnie, Ashley Hutson has created a surreal heroine. What is real and what is imagined? How have the traumas that Bonnie has suffered contributed to this bizarre life she has created? I was puzzled at many of her choices, but was riveted to the book until completion. Hutson has a bright future in literature- I found this to be a well-written, gripping novel.

Dan W. (Fort Myers, FL)

An Amazing Reality
This book captures a multitude of experiences resulting in the main character, Bonnie Lincoln, removing herself from society after winning an enormous lottery. What starts off in a "once in a lifetime dream" of winning a lottery to the demons that come to possess Bonnie's life of residing in a self-imposed world of loneliness. At times this novel can be troubling to read due to Bonnie's decision to remove herself from society to live in a fantasy world of a 1970s TV show, "Three's Company". The depths that the author goes to revealing the innermost thoughts of the main character is brilliant! I believe this is a book that would be engaging to discuss at a book club.

Sylvia T. (Rancho Mirage, CA)

High praise for One's Company and for Ashley Hutson
I absolutely LOVED this book. It was a bizarre storyline about a woman who wins the lottery and uses the money to recreate the "Three's Company" set to live in. However, unlike Three’s Company characters, Bonnie throughout the book experiences severe responses to the trauma she has endured - constant exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, and agitation just to name a few. I doubt that you’ll be able to put this book aside until you finish it. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Ashley Hutson’s ONE’S COMPANY to see for yourself!

Susan W. (Berkley, MI)

When does a wish for solitude become an obsession
This book gave me a lot to think about. Right from the start I was taken in by the idea of a lonely person wanting to immerse themselves in a fictional place. Who hasn't read a book and inserted themselves in the action? But Bonnie is able to take it to the extreme when she wins the lottery.

She goes from being on the outside looking in, to being inside working to shut out the rest of the world. Bonnie's wish for solitude has become an obsession.

I felt like the author gave us a look inside the madness of Bonnie's loneliness. It was uncomfortable and chilling.

...19 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Ashley Hutson

Ashley Hutson is a writer living in rural Maryland. Her work has appeared in Granta, Electric Literature, Catapult, Fanzine, and elsewhere. Her honors include the 2018 Small Fictions Award, judged by Aimee Bender, and several Pushcart Prize nominations.

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