“Imogen Crimp’s enjoyable debut novel… is an all-too-real reminder of what it is to be a woman in your 20s…” – The New York Times
"Tender, devastating, witty. And deeply true. Sweetbitter meets Normal People.”—Meg Mason, author of Sorrow and Bliss
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.