cover image Ellipses


Vanessa Lawrence. Dutton, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-0-593-47277-4

In Lawrence’s incisive debut, a queer 30-something magazine writer struggles to navigate her professional and romantic relationships. While reporting on a gala in a borrowed dress, Lily Michaels meets Billie Aston, chief creative officer of a prominent beauty company. Well-known for her power suits and ruthless attitude, Billie gives Lily her number and asks to see the article when it’s published. From there, the two develop a fraught relationship in the “digital ether.” Initially, Lily sees a mentorship opportunity, as Billie is one of the city’s most powerful queer women. When Billie starts sending sexts, however, Lily becomes uneasy. While she knows she’s lucky to have Billie’s attention, she’s also aware that the executive has “zero compunctions about dismantling another, younger threat.” Lily, who has a reached a relationship plateau with her long-term girlfriend, Alison, must decide where her own values lie. Lawrence has an insider’s understanding of the media world, and digs deep into such issues as sexism, racism, and ageism. This marks the arrival of a promising new voice. Agent: Tia Ikemoto, CAA. (Mar.)