|Print List Price:||$26.00|
Save $13.01 (50%)
Price set by seller.
The Answers: A Novel Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Length: 305 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Add the Audible book for a reduced price of $7.49 when you buy the Kindle book.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
So when Mary sees a mysterious announcement for a lucrative “income-generating experience,” she decides to pursue it, even through several rounds of bizarre interviews and background checks. It turns out that Mary is the perfect candidate for the position. She’s part of what’s been dubbed the “Girlfriend Experiment,” matching several different women with a single Hollywood star, each of them instructed to fill a certain need (the Maternal Girlfriend, the Anger Girlfriend, the Mundanity Girlfriend, etc.). Mary, who grew up homeschooled in an isolated, deeply religious household with virtually no contact with the outside world, is the perfect choice to be the Emotional Girlfriend. Since she had no familiarity with the movie star, she can approach him on a neutral, more genuine level.
After an opening section written from Mary’s first-person perspective, the book’s second part expands to offer glimpses into the lives and backstories of several other characters, including other women participating in the Girlfriend Experiment, the Hollywood star and his adoring assistant. Narratives of sexual and physical violence, emotional detachment and alienation run through these brief chapters, before the story returns to Mary’s increasingly isolated and disorienting perspective in the novel’s closing part.
Characters in THE ANSWERS can feel like types or tropes rather than fully realized human beings, but that’s kind of the point. The Girlfriend Experiment reduces individuals to a single trait, codifying behavior under the assumption that there can be a formula resulting in companionship, or emotional fulfillment, or catharsis, or any number of other functions intended to be served through romantic relationships.
“How to best love? How to know anything, for certain, in another’s heart?” These are the questions posed by the Girlfriend Experiment, and ostensibly answered in the most logical way possible. But logic only goes so far, as Mary’s story, and others, illustrates. At times, THE ANSWERS can leave readers feeling chilly, but it also offers numerous opportunities for reflection on modern culture, the limits of science and the mysteries of love.
Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
Is it possible to achieve a prolonged state of limerence—the physiological and psychological stage of a body as it falls in love? Does there exist a person who will meet one's every needs? Is there such thing as a perfect relationship? Mary Parsons has been selected to participate in an experiment that seeks to answer these questions. She—along with several other women—will each play a separate girlfriend role for the wealthy actor funding the experiment. And Mary's role is arguably most important of all: Emotional Girlfriend.
For Mary, whose life is in a state of stagnant listlessness as she falls further into debt paying for strange new methods to treat her chronic pain condition, the Girlfriend Experiment (as its aptly named) is an opportunity to make some easy money. The irony of it all is that Mary is actually a rather emotionally detached person, and most of the novel is spent inside her analytical mind.
The Answers could have easily become trite, as many novels that explore the issue of love inevitably do, but in Lacey's capable hands, this one transcends the predictable cliches. It implores readers to question more than just the how of making love last, but the very reasons why we seek romantic connections in the first place—and what that might tell us about who we are.
We may never be able to completely know another person, but we'll always have ourselves. If we can learn to be okay with that, and if we're willing to accept the uncertainty of human relationships and the gaps and distances that will always exist between two people, maybe we'll come to find that that's enough.
Fans of Miranda July, Alexandra Kleeman and Lydia Millet will likely enjoy this one as much as I did.