Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review of Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl

Tracy Quan's debut novel, Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, follows an early-thirty-something who has been turning tricks since she was thirteen years old. However, this isn't a story about exploitation or sex slavery. It's about a girl, Nancy, who knew she wanted to be a call girl from a very young age. As she matures she realizes all of the naive assumptions and mistakes she made as an adolescent helped to shape the woman she is today.

Nancy's biggest hurdle in life is her engagement to a "straight" man-- someone who isn't involved in prostitution and doesn't know about her involvement in it. She cares for him and she likes her current profession.

Unfortunately her fiancĂ©’s sister is a district attorney, which increases her anxiety about whether or not to get married.

Between meetings with Johns Nancy has to make arrangements for her wedding, meet with her future in-laws, and visit with her therapist to try to sort out her mixed emotions.

I enjoyed the book, though it may be too graphic for some readers. It definitely isn't for children or teens, as it contains some graphic sexual situations.

The overall tone of the book is lightly comedic, with tension about Nancy's pre-marital drama weaved throughout. I definitely recommend this book if you enjoy strong female lead characters that you are able to connect with. Obviously her profession causes somewhat of a disconnect; for instance, I wouldn't see the dilemma in giving up a risky profession for a life as a well provided for wife. But since her entire adult life has been in the hooking culture of course it would be a huge lifestyle change for her.

There are lots of interesting scenes about the mechanics of being sexy and beautiful all day. Also, though there aren't many scenes where Johns are talked about in depth, it is fun to see the wide variety of men with their differing idiosyncratic sexual proclivities. It adds another interesting dimension to what may otherwise have been just straight sex scenes.

The book is 271 pages long, and the paperback version I have includes a 19 page preview of Tracy Quan's next novel, Diary of a Married Call Girl.

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