cover image Getting Clean with Stevie Green

Getting Clean with Stevie Green

Swan Huntley. Gallery, $16.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-9821-5962-7

Huntley (We Could Be Beautiful) shines in this story of a woman returning home to get her life together. Once a golden girl in high school set for Stanford, Stevie Green was derailed during her run for class president by a malicious prank, which set her on a self-destructive and nomadic path, first to New York City, where she worked as a bartender and drank heavily, then San Francisco. Now, at 37, Stevie’s mother, Kit, asks her to return to affluent La Jolla, Calif., to help her straighten up Kit’s house. The chore gives Stevie a newfound mission: to be the town’s #1 organizer, helping rich housewives and others pare down closets and garages bulging with possessions, and she starts her own business. She also reckons with her romantic feelings for a female friend, Chris, who she thinks betrayed her back in high school. When the truth comes out, it’s an unexpected bombshell. Most of this comes from Stevie’s point of view, which is heavy on the snark (visiting a new client, Stevie notes that if the man’s house “were a hipster brand of lipstick, it would have been called Single Man’s Junkyard”), though Huntley adds dimension with passages from Kit, as well as Stevie’s chill, “Insta-famous” younger sister. This smart and expertly plotted tale captivates. Agent: Liz Parker, Verve Talent & Literary. (Jan.)