Shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction!
When she got in his tall bed and lay down it was so high that she felt like the princess and the pea only it was coins that were under the mattress. He let her spoon him but it was never the other way around. She was learning to rely on his smell. Up close, he always smelt like fresh laundry which overpowered the cigarette smell that hung in the air. When she looked down, his boots were poking out from under the sheets.
Alice Darling has just moved to Montreal to go to McGill University. She’s never had a boyfriend and doesn’t know how to do laundry. She joins the Film Society and hangs out in the library. She drifts away from boring Bethany, her best friend from high school, and starts to trail after Allegra, the caffeine-addicted, dish-throwing artist in the dorm room next to hers. And, most of all, she thinks about how she’s still a virgin and how she’ll never figure it all out.
And then she meets Nellcott Ragland, a 23-year-old who works at Basement Records and wears black eyeliner, and he asks her on a date.
Alice tries to hide out in the Film Society office. She spies on Nellcott at the record store. She gets advice from Walker, her filmmaking, womanizing friend from Toronto. But sooner or later her parents are going to visit and watch her cry. She won’t admit it to them, but Nellcott has become her darling.