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Bennington is nineteen, a sharp, unshockable drama student who, when the cash flow runs low, sees no harm in a little out of hours escort work to fund her course. The world she moves in, where homeless friends sleep in an empty swimming pool, her Dad is a drunk and an ex-flatmate steals from his lover, has little to offer. So one vacation, left in an empty halls of residence at NY University, Bennington meets her madam and gets down to business, not forgetting to buy her first Louis Vuitton bag on the way. Unforgettable for her whimsical tone, amusing details and dead pan honesty: 'Afterwards I always say, 'You've got a great body' or if there's no way that's plausible, 'I love your moustache'. Sometimes I just say, 'Nice apartment' '. A funny, fresh and bittersweet debut.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781860494581
ISBN-10: 1860494587
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 126mm x mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 4-Jun-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A pleasing frolic on dangerous ground, this debut from Belle features a ditzy NYU coed's yearlong misadventures as a novice hooker, spiraling downward while she imagines herself on the road to better things. Abandoned by her professor daddy so that he can make a life with his new wife, shunned by a thieving roommate for her lack of enthusiasm over his spoils, Bennington Bloom is lovely but homeless as her 19th birthday nears. On a whim, she contacts an escort service and is hired on the spot, beginning her hands-on education as a working girl. Busy enough to take her mind off her troubles, she buys expensive treats while trying to save enough for tuition, but when the owner of the service becomes paranoid and dumps her, Bennington turns to a brothel. Having to juggle her clients at Blanche's, acting classes, more roommate problems, and ongoing parental neglect, she seeks counseling, but because her therapist is 80 and partly deaf, the two can't communicate. Bennington barely escapes from a raid at Blanche's, then leaves when management wants to tax her earnings. An encounter with a painter friend (who has filled an East Village church with images of her, as a saint, as Mary Magdalen, even as one of the wise men) takes her to Martha's Vineyard for much needed R she meets the hunk Adam on a whale-watching cruise and before long has moved into his Manhattan apartment. Telling him she does catering, Bennington goes back to work, but in time her man learns her true calling and dumps her, too. She searches the city for love, wandering the streets in a paralyzing snowstorm, until she finds new hope on a nearly abandoned subway platform. Though finely detailed, and appealing in its madcap manner, this flurried portrait of city hustles and heartbreaks offers only a limited, eviscerated view of the perils of a life on the make. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Jennifer Belle

Twenty-seven-year-old Jennifer Belle is editor of the literary magazine, MUDFISH. This is her first novel. She lives in New York.