Whoo boy, this book! Pretty early on, I got a weird, twisted vibe from Lady Daniels. Then the same feeling from her live-in nanny, S. It felt similar to reading The Woman Upstairs and The Dinner. And just like those two novels, Woman No. 17 had the same kind of slow burn.
The dual narrative (alternating between Lady and S) worked very well; it moved the story along at a nice pace. But these two characters are truly awful. Their thoughts are problematic and discomforting, the things they do are outrageous. So yeah, they’re interesting, and I couldn’t get enough of them!
This novels explores a lot of themes: Mothers’ fears of messing up their kids, children being smothered by their mothers, estranged parents, conflict between mothers and daughters, codependent relationships, parents who overvalue their kids and how that affects them, how hurting people hurt people and often create solitude, and most of all, who has the right to tell other people’s stories?
It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Maybe too much, in most books. But Lepucki weaved all these themes into a complex, fascinating web that really packed a punch. I finished Woman No. 17 weeks ago, but I’m still thinking about it.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book. Check out what other readers have to say about Woman No. 17 by visiting other stops on the tour.