linnea's Reviews > The Washingtonienne

The Washingtonienne by Jessica Cutler
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Oct 22, 09


This past weekend I read Washingtonienne. It was one of the most depressing books I've ever read. It's a roman à clef about a girl in DC who starts a blog about her sexual exploits with various DC men, which earns her notoriety and gets her fired from her job. I was hoping it would be a fun sex-and-shopping novel, like The Millenium Girl or Valley of the Dolls. Both of those go to dark places, but the heriones are likeable, and even if you don't like or respect their choices, they are generally understandable.

Washingtonienne reminded me more of A Certain Age by Tama Janowitz, except without the schadenfreude of the latter. The heroine is a thoroughly horrible person, constantly cheating, lying and stabbing her friends in the back. She has lots of sex, but goes about it in a grim way as if she's doing it to punish herself, and at the end her life falls apart and she decides to embrace the notoriety, but doesn't seem to change at all.

The book is an object lesson in the perils of patriarchy for the young, pretty women who buy into it, although I doubt the author would agree. Not recommended unless you want to feel unpleasantly soiled in a way you can't shower clean.

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