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Woman No. 17

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3.35  ·  Rating details ·  5,840 Ratings  ·  827 Reviews
A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles, from the New York Times bestselling author of California.

High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has decided to take a break from her husband. She’s going to need a hand with her young son if she’s ever going to finish her memoir. In comes
...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Hogarth
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Ramona Mead I always think that's the sign of well written characters! If you don't feel anything for them, then the writer didn't do a great job creating them. I…moreI always think that's the sign of well written characters! If you don't feel anything for them, then the writer didn't do a great job creating them. I kinda enjoyed disliking these characters. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Tiara Williams We never got his name but it was a random hookup that Lady met while working at the medical office. He was a patient.

Community Reviews

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Elyse
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Update -Am I crazy --I just entered the Goodreads Give-a-way-- I'd love to win a 'physical'
copy of this book. Has any other Netgalley reader --ever tried to win a 'physical' book --besides your already 'arc' Kindle? And....have you won? lol curious....


Where is my review????

This is nuts.... several of my reviews keep disappearing-- I read this book last year.
Left a review early.

The author read it - comments were made- so I know I'm not crazy!

I loved Edan's new book.... author of California!


THIS
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Pouting Always
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Lady has decided to hire a nanny for her son, Devin, after she separates from her husband, so that she can spend more of her time writing her book. After publishing her first book about raising her nonverbal son Seth, she was writing a follow up, one that was much more of a memoir. S is a recent graduate who wants to reinvent herself. S ha always been artistic but after her college experience struggles with what that means for her and what makes art real. S takes up the nanny job with Lady and u ...more
Deanna
Apr 29, 2017 rated it liked it
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

3.5 stars

When I first came across this book it was the cover that caught my eye. I really liked it. And after reading the description, I was very intrigued.

Lady Daniels lives in the Hollywood Hill. Recently separated, she's looking for a nanny to take care of her three-year old son, Devin. Lady is writing her memoir. Having a nanny will give her uninterrupted time to write. A woman who calls herself "S" comes for an intervie
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Debbie
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5

Just what I suspected—I decided to round down instead of up, so it’s now 3 stars. What changed my mind? Well, every time I think of this book I think of the things that annoyed me rather than the stuff that made me happy. I’ll start with the joy. This way I’ll feel guilty that I downgraded it to 3 stars (I guess I’m a masochist).

Joy Jar

-Yes to art! Usually I like artist characters, but it’s tricky. Sometimes writers go overboard describing art projects, which I complained about with The Anima
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Esil
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I hate writing negative reviews, but here goes... I am generally happy to read novels featuring unlikeable characters. Eileen is a case in point. But, yikes, Woman No. 17 really didn't work for me. Told from the alternating perspectives of Lady and Esther, this felt like an endless portrait of petty, self-centred, dislikable women. Lady is in her early 40s, and is relentlessly capricious and self centred in her dealings with everyone, including her two sons and their fathers. Ester is in her 20s ...more
Carol
3.5 Stars.

WOMAN NO. 17 is a story filled with unusual and complex relationships and two characters in particular that are recklessly irresponsible thus unlikeable (for me) but.....I still could not stop reading.

Edan Lepucki brings something different to this novel, communication through expression and expression through various forms of art, and while Lady and "S" are the main protagonists, it is Seth's character and story that kept me reading to find out more.

Combined with a super high weird fa

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Julie
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki is a 2017 Hogarth publication.

Offbeat mixture of art and the complexities of motherhood.

Set in the Hollywood Hills, Lady Daniels is working on a book about her son, Seth, a selective mute, who is now in his late teens.

Lady also has a toddler with her second husband, from whom she is now separated. She needs a nanny so she can concentrate on her writing, so with hardly a second thought, she hires Esther, whom she refers to as ‘S’.

Along the way, we learn about Seth’
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Theresa
Thank you, Crown Publishing from sending me a free ARC of "Woman No. 17", in exchange for an honest review.

"Woman No. 17" by Edan Lepucki is a rollercoaster ride of the female psyche. This novel explores so many different complexities of what modern women have to face in the 21st Century like: motherhood, childhood trauma, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, self-loathing, and self-destructive relationships. I liked that I didn't know how this novel was going to end. It kept me on my toes througho
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Edan
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly brilliant! Sui generis!
Marie
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, fiction, bvc
This book had me cringing, yet I was intrigued and felt compelled to read to the end. The setting is Los Angeles and a great many themes are explored throughout this novel. The two main characters, are at such transitional points in their life, making rash irresponsible decisions. These two women grew up with “bad mothers,” however end up becoming their mothers, either inadvertently or purposely in the pursuit of art. They are brought together in this novel as Lady has separated from her husband ...more
☮Karen
Writer Lady Daniels and artist S Fowler (pseudonym for Esther Shapiro) share the spotlight of this story set in the Hollywood Hills. Lady gives the first POV, and I was struck at how bluntly honest and forthright she was with us readers. She kept me engaged even though her life was extremely messed up, but I eventually realized that she is not as honest as she pretends to be, unfortunately for her family.

S, on the other hand, is upfront about her trickery and deceipt, at least with us readers. S
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Lark Benobi
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
I'm not the right reader for this novel. I was disturbed by the self-obsessive nature of the narrators, and their (for me) excessive attention to small details of their lives, almost as if I were being forced inside the mind of someone with severe obsessive compulsive disorder. I was uneasy with the story telling because I never knew what terrible thing might just be on the verge of happening. This is of course exactly what makes this novel "noir" rather than something else--just this trapped an ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The publisher summary describes this as "sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles." I should have known this was not the book for me, but it is pretty ridiculous isn't it? Noir & motherhood, should these two concepts be combined? I would say no. This book didn't work for me. I kept waiting for there to be a payoff with all the ideas introduced but they fizzle out, or maybe a point to all the artistic spin, but ...more
Patrick Brown
So, right up front, I'm married to the author of this book. You should assume that I am hopelessly, ridiculously biased. There. Glad we got that out of the way.

For those of you who are still reading, I don't think there's a way I can top my review of California. I gave that book 5-stars, and I felt (and still feel!) that it deserved it. It will sound weird because the author is my wife and all, but there are many things in that book I still think about today.

But Woman No. 17 is a better book. Th
...more
Jessica
May 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am not the right reader for this book. I don't want to be anywhere near these characters.
switterbug (Betsey)
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lady has two children fathered by two different men. The oldest, nineteen-year-old Seth, is mute. He’s not deaf, he doesn’t have autism, and he definitely isn’t delayed. “And he isn’t a genius, either.” Devin, the toddler, is a chatterbox who doesn’t stop talking unless he’s asleep. Lady is on a trial separation from her husband, Karl, a very wealthy man. And she is trying to write a memoir about bringing up Seth: “…the central theme…is acceptance, but if that were the case, I shouldn’t be the o ...more
Terri Jacobson
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Lady" Daniels is a 40-something mom living the good life in the Hollywood Hills. She has 2 sons: the older, Seth, is 18-years old and he does not speak, though he communicates in other ways; the younger, Devin, is a toddler. Lady has recently asked her husband, Karl, to move out. Lady is writing a book about her experiences having a son who doesn't speak (for no apparent physiological reason). She hires a nanny to watch Devin so she can write this book.

That nanny is Esther Shapiro, a 22-year ol
...more
Jill
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
First, the good news: Edan Lepucki breathes life into fresh and original characters, including Lady Daniels, a careless and self-sabotaging mother…her ironic teenage son, Seth who suffers from selective mutism, and has never uttered a word and his little brother Devyn,…and the new self-indulgent sitter and performance artist, Esther Shapiro, who has reinvented herself as “S”, who has taken on a project of embodying her impulsive and alcoholic mother.

In ways that gradually become apparent, Lady a
...more
Judy Collins
4.5 Stars Edan Lepucki returns following California with her latest WOMAN NO.17 – a cleverly written twisty contemporary of motherhood, womanhood, relationships, and identity.

Infused with art in many forms, a web of deceit, dark and witty — a sinister look into a Hollywood family and complex relationships. When things are not always as they appear.

Think a "helicopter" insecure mom with a past; an impersonator, selective mutism, alcoholism, childhood traumas, a revealing photograph, narciss
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Jessica Woodbury
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
This book is not a mystery and yet it feels like one while you read it. Two women, each keeping secrets, and the reader waits with baited breath to find out when and what will be revealed. I blew through it quickly, like Lepucki's previous novel CALIFORNIA, but I found WOMAN NO. 17 significantly more satisfying.

I held off on reading this because I am not really a fan of books about wealthy women or performance artists and this is a book about both. But the reason I chafe against that type of sub
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Trevor
Well. That was a bummer.

WOMAN NO. 17 certainly had an intriguing premise- I was mostly curious into seeing how the selective mutism would work out. And I'll admit, in the beginning, Lepucki hooked me in. Lady & 'S' seemed like polar opposites, mix in Lady's sons Seth & Devin, & I was excited to see how the character arcs would unravel. But a quarter of the way in, my interest was lost. The pace slowed down, boggling precious space with repetitive & mundane details that honestly
...more
Kate
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure, I know Edan and I had the pleasure of reading an early draft of this superb book. Read on if you'd like my post publication thoughts...

Woman No 17 reads quickly, but deceptively so. I found myself turning back, reconsidering and finding more and more beneath the surface of its page-turning momentum. Through the dual narrative of Lady and S, two witty and well-developed protagonists, Lepucki very slyly pulls back the layers, the facades, of female relationships (from mother to da
...more
Michelle
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki… Wow, where to begin?

I was struck by the amount of broken marriages, broken friendships and broken relationships. On the other hand, the novel was an easy and interesting read. Women trying to find themselves despite the roles in which they are currently. A page-turner.

Lady lives in a mansion and has just given her husband the boot for a “trial separation”. Meanwhile she is trying to write a book about her oldest son, who is 18—I won’t spoil it for you, and is trying
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Obsidian
This was torture. I don't even know what to say except I did DNF it the other day at the 26 percent mark when I realized I loathed the two leads (Lady and Esther though she is called S (S for Snake) by Lady's younger son.

I felt like I was drunk while reading. I saw words on the page and nothing made sense. I hated the POV of Lady and I hated the POV of S. They are both two sides of the same messed up coin. I finally called it quits on page 75 of 311 of my e-book copy when I realized that I was r
...more
Ron Charles
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lepucki, an editor and writer for the online magazine the Millions, desecrates so much sacred ground here that you half expect hellhounds to jump out and tear her to shreds. She creates an uncommonly candid portrait of frustrated motherhood, even while deconstructing the art of memoir with all its contradictory potential to reveal and disguise.

That theme gets reframed in fascinating ways by the novel’s related exploration of portraiture. Years earlier. . . .

To read the rest of this review, go to
...more
Book of the Month
Mommy Dearest?
By Judge Kim Hubbard

Some books pull you in from the very first sentence; this one had me at the dedication. It reads: “To my mother, who always says, ‘If you’re bored, read a book.’” My mother said that too! (She also said, “I’ve never been bored in my life,” which was less helpful. So blamey! Like her head was a wonderland and mine must be empty inside!)

Sorry. Where was I?

Mother issues. We all have them. This wickedly entertaining novel showcases some especially dysfunctional exam
...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Via my blog https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/
I sat on this novel before reviewing, I wanted time to really express how it made me feel.

“I’d been beautiful. The past tense was like a shove to the chest.”

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki was not quite what I expected. I was thinking it would be a simple Women’s Fiction read, something to pass the time on a beach. Instead I got fully developed, messy characters that I could relate to. I underlined like mad, I cringed, I ached… they are awkward and
...more
Jordan
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was very intrigued by the title, cover and the synopsis of Woman No. 17 and it turned out to be a very unique, interesting and well written book describing the complex dynamics of, and the emotions surrounding, the relationships of a woman. I've been very lucky in that a majority of the books I've read lately, particularly ARC's, have been exceptional and most have received 4 or 5 star ratings from me personally, and excellent reviews in general, well this book was no exception. I'll admit tha ...more
Oreoandlucy
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
More reviews are available on my blog:
http://reviewsofbooksonmynightstand.b...

Lady recently asked for a trial separation from her husband, Karl, and is living with her two sons, Seth and Devin. Seth is an 18-year-old selective mute and Devin is a very talkative toddler. Lady has accepted a contract to write a book about her experiences with Seth and has hired S Fowler to watch him while she writes. S is actually Esther Shapiro, an aspiring artist that had an art project that turned out badly. Sh
...more
Adrienne
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A funny, seductive, irresistible page-turner that also sends a pang to the heart. I hesitate to describe any one element of the book (teenage artistic high? maternity that refuses to desexualize either mother or child? mysterious doubling of self and other?) as the single important thread of plot, because what's most compelling is the interplay between each character, thread, and theme.
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32,458 followers
Edan Lepucki is the New York Times bestselling author of California, as well as the novella If You're Not Yet Like Me. Her next novel, Woman No. 17, will be published by Hogarth/Crown in May of 2017.

She is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and her short fiction and nonfiction have been published in McSweeney's, Narrative Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the New Yor
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More about Edan Lepucki

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