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A Very Nice Girl

"A young opera singer’s struggle to find her voice in the world lays bare an absorbing, bittersweet debut about love, longing and relationship power-play."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Darkly funny and emotionally engaging, Imogen Crimp’s A Very Nice Girl explores the struggles, desires and conflicts faced by a fledging opera singer in expensive, competitive and often-lonely London. An absorbing story of finding strength and focus in the wake of trembling, debilitating crises of confidence unfolds as its protagonist, Anna, struggles to overcome a deep-rooted compulsion to be driven by what others say and think of her.

Though her insular parents believe she’d have been better off staying closer to home, Anna has accepted a scholarship to study opera at a prestigious London music school. But it’s not easy fitting into to the conservatory’s highly-strung, privileged culture, not least because Anna is struggling financially. To pay her rent, she sings jazz at a bar in the City, and here meets Max, a financier fourteen years her senior. After a brief cat and mouse game when they first meet, they hook up, and agree to keep it simple - this isn’t a relationship; it’s sex, it’s companionship. But matters of the heart rarely remain simple and it’s not long before both Max and the opera demand much more than Anna can bear, rendering her fractured, casting her adrift, unsure of anything, except that something has to change. She cannot remain in such a helpless situation, dependent on Max’s money, dependent on him emotionally, and feeling increasingly alienated from what was supposed to be her focus - opera.

In A Very Nice Girl Imogen Crimp has created a gripping coming of age story that explores a young woman’s shift from a state of lonely drifting to one of self-determination with enthralling compassion, wit, and considered pace.

Joanne Owen

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