What if you got the chance to be everyone’s fantasy?
When she flees to D.C. in the midst of a divorce, the last thing Joanie Price expects is to become a courtesan, but, as her true self struggles to be realized, this is exactly what happens. Along with Joanie, we are drawn into the pleasures and benefits, the nuances and norms, of the patrons who lavishly support her and vie for her attention. In modern society such a thing has a decidedly negative connotation—like so many other uncomfortable realities, we prefer to hide such sexual arrangements behind closed doors simply because we can. Against the backdrop of the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the questions Joanie’s new lifestyle raises about who Americans have become and where they’re headed are provocative as well as evocative.
In past eras, in some societies, such as Paris’s second Napoleonic era and during many royal reigns before, enchanting women were perceived as artists, protected and cherished by their patrons in order that they might flourish. In today’s society, where both relationships and artisans have lost their strongholds in the sacrifice toward progress and humanity, a modern-day courtesan—an artist of love—could never hope to fit in. Equally confronting and alluring, Joanie’s somewhat naïve, but completely enthralling deviation from the rules makes readers wonder why one would ever follow them in the first place. No matter what your view, one thing is for certain: It’s easy and wickedly enjoyable to see ourselves in Joanie’s shoes, and as we do, her erotic experiment hurtles us through a story of self-discovery that’s raw and transformative, as well as witty and enduring.