Author: Imogen Crimp
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication Date: February 8, 2022
Book Description: A bitingly honest, darkly funny debut about ambition, sex, power, and love, Imogen Crimp’s A Very Nice Girl cracks open the timeless questions of what it is to be young, what it is to want to be wanted, and what it is to find your calling but lose your way to it.
Anna doesn’t fit in. Not with her wealthy classmates at the selective London Conservatory where she unexpectedly wins a place after university, not with the family she left behind, and definitely not with Max, a man she meets in the bar where she sings for cash. He’s everything she’s not—rich, tailored to precision, impossible to read—and before long Anna is hooked, desperate to hold his attention, and determined to ignore the warning signs that this might be a toxic relationship.
As Anna shuttles from grueling rehearsals to brutal auditions, she finds herself torn between two conflicting desires: the drive to nurture her fledgling singing career, which requires her undivided attention, and the longing for human connection. When the stakes increase, and the roles she’s playing—both on stage and off—begin to feel all-consuming, Anna must reckon with the fact that, in carefully performing what’s expected of her as a woman, she risks losing sight of herself completely.
Both exceedingly contemporary and classic, A Very Nice Girl reminds us that even once we have taken possession of our destinies we still have the power to set all we hold dear on fire.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: When I received a copy of this book, I was so excited to read the story of Anna an Opera student at the London Conservatory. She is there on scholarship, and works multiple jobs where ever she can get work. At one job working at a bar she meets Max, who appears to be wealthy and immediately takes an interest in Anna.
While on the surface Max appears to be a nice guy and care for Anna, he makes little comments that plant seeds in her head that slowly rattle her. Soon Anna is missing classes, rehearsals and even has trouble singing.
I personally wanted to walk away from this book, but am so glad I stuck with it. While at times I wanted to scream at Anna and slap Max, it was great seeing Anna grow and finally make the decisions herself that will affect her life.
This is a tough read at times, but then that just means Imogen Crimp was writing fabulous scenes and story. Stick with this one, it will be worth it in the end.
Thank you NetGalley and Henry Holt & Company for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.