Lip Service: A Novel Hardcover – 26 Oct 1999
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"The Midwest Book Review" "Lip Service" is both seductive and sinister.
This seductive debut novel crackles with eroticism and suspense. Exploring the relationship between sexuality and identity, it provides an astonishingly vivid glimpse into one woman's inner life. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Patricia Conant - Freelance writer, columnist...
The book is a fascinating compilation of genres -- literary, erotic, suspense, thriller, and social commentary -- with a twist at the end that caught me completely off guard. Great ending. Great reading.
The description of various upper class social worlds and concerns, I thought, were very wry and very dead on. In my best Hollywood pitch, LIP SERVICE was like: "Belle Du Jour" meets Evelyn Waugh meets Hitchcock meets Susie Bright at Good Vibrations (a woman's sex shop in San Francisco). Congratulations to M.J. Ross for having the courage to tell an intelligent story with compelling contemporary characters and not hold back on the sexual content.
Using modern-day New York as her backdrop, Rose invites us into the life of devoted wife and dutiful daughter Julia Sterling, and her sterile and controlling psychiatrist husband, Paul. The story begins as Julia, acting the part of trophy-wife for her husband's business dinner, meets Sam Butterfield, founder of the Butterfield Institute, a "progressive sex clinic."
Encouraged by Sam, but against the wishes of her overprotective husband, Julia agrees to write a book about the institute. Through her research, she struggles with the emotionally fragile label that has been thrust upon her by her father and husband, and the new awakening she experiences through her job as a phone sex therapist.
With plenty of suspense and intrigue, Rose entices us into Julia's psyche. As the story progresses, we realize just how much Julia has put her life on hold; not allowing herself to question what her husband tells her, nor allowing her true feelings to surface. But it is not until Julia is faced with making significant decisions about her future, that we really realize the significance of her newly found self-awareness.
Definitely a page-turner, this book is the perfect cure for the mid-summer blahs. With just enough erotica to be piquant, but not enough to be pornographic, "Lip Service" is one of those books that you'll be sure to pass on to your best friend.
This is an odd mix of the intelligent, the hippy-new age, and the frankly rather schlocky. Parts of it are done well and there is a genuine tension as to whether Julia's involvement in Sam's sexual therapy is empowering or a closet form of prostitution masquerading under a respectable name. The latter part of the book, however, seems to lose all sense of direction as the plot goes off the rails into the unbelievable and rather absurd.
So a mixed recommendation from me: it's worth a read for the good bits but sadly doesn't follow through.
(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I couldn't put this book down. It held me captive for a whole weekend. Its not quite like anything I've read before - erotic and engaging - about a woman who you don't think will... Read morePublished on 2 Sept. 1999
What an unpleasant little story. Men are portrayed as perverts, thieves and pimps; women are righteous prudes. Read morePublished on 1 Sept. 1999
When this book was recommended to me I hesitated, erotica not being my genre of choice. But I am glad I was pursuaded to give it a try. It was a great read. Read morePublished on 27 Aug. 1999
*This* is supposed to be a 'psychological thriller'? It's not even written well, and the story has no integrity. Skip it.Published on 27 Aug. 1999
Not since "Atlas Shrugged" has a book had the power to become such an instant classic. Rose has spun a modern tale of triumph and suspense that will forever ring true... Read morePublished on 26 Aug. 1999
MJ Rose's Lip Service is more than a wonderful, well-written and timely piece of fiction. It is more than a brilliant portrayal of a woman's sexual repression and revolt against... Read morePublished on 25 Aug. 1999
A reviewer, 36yr old female married 12 yrs, August 23, 1999,'WOW' It was looking thu a glass mirror at my own life.Title 'Lip Service'. Read morePublished on 25 Aug. 1999
It is rare that a book comes along with such a variety of elements that a reader craves. "Lip Service" has come! Read morePublished on 22 Aug. 1999
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