New York Times Notable Book: A Manhattanite seeks Midwestern bliss and finds something else in this “funny, literate [and] often touching story” (People).
Television correspondent Lucinda Trout is unhappy about the superficiality and shallowness of her life in New York, not to mention the latest stratospheric rent hike. Seeking an escape, she proposes a new project: She’ll move far, far away, to the wholesome, most-livable-list town of Prairie City, and send “Quality of Life Report” segments back to the network.
But her mental image of the nation’s heartland doesn’t quite match up to the reality she finds. Prairie City may not be Manhattan, but it isn’t Mayberry either—and while housing may be cheaper here, life and love are just as complicated. Now Lucinda has to confront the challenge of truly finding her own place in the world, in the wildly acclaimed first novel by the New York Times-bestselling and PEN Award-winning author of The Problem with Everything.
“Daum brings a crisp, wisecracking voice to her novel . . . An admirably nuanced view of the American heartland.” —The New Yorker
“Daum’s enormous comic gift—and her ability to use it in the service of fundamentally serious issues—is an unexpected delight.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A confident first novel, full of wit and deft social criticism, often very funny and frequently wise.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“With a keen eye and trenchant wit, Meghan Daum skewers the obsessive narcissism and sense of entitlement that passes for real values in our media-driven culture. Always funny, often painfully so, The Quality of Life Report is more than simply satirical. It is an intelligent and heartfelt tale of a young woman, making radical choices and waking up to her life.” —Ruth Ozeki, author of The Book of Form and Emptiness