Maureen Gibbon, Author . Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus & Giroux $14 (182p) ISBN 978-0-374-27454-2

After placing a personal ad in the local paper, Suzanne, the narrator of Gibbon's abysmal latest (after Swimming Sweet Arrow ), is shocked and intrigued when she gets a response from an inmate. Having “always been interested in black sheep and underdogs,” Suzanne writes back, and, as it turns out, Alpha Breville, her prison pen-pal, is a convicted rapist, which strikes Suzanne as providential, as she was raped as a teenager. Thinking maybe she can work out some of the lingering trauma of that event, she embarks on a tempestuous relationship with Breville, first through a series of candid letters, then through visits to the prison. While at first she finds it therapeutic to figure out the other side of the rape “coin,” Suzanne must ultimately face the fact that this miscalculated experiment in self-liberation can depend on no one but herself. But what's in it for the reader is anyone's guess; Suzanne is less a character than a phoned-in grotesque thrown together to serve the requirements of an ill-considered story of petty self-enlightenment. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/29/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4299-3236-3
Paperback - 182 pages - 978-1-84887-184-7
Open Ebook - 170 pages - 978-1-84887-760-3
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-1-84887-182-3
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