The publisher's description of Trip Sheets
as "funny" does a disservice to a thoughtful, realistic novel about desire and uncertainty. When Cath Rahven decides to stop sleeping with men, she hopes that her other meaningless habits will fall away too, and that she can be cleansed of everything she didn't consciously choose. She longs for "an antidote to her entire history"; then she will be able to stop driving cabs and concentrate on writing her mystery novel, her main link with her dying father. This exhilarating sense of starting over fades almost as soon as she begins to sleep with women--one after another, randomly chosen, just like the men--and she is left feeling deflated. What finally pushes Cath into a promising new life won't be what she expects. An accomplished first novel, Trip Sheets
is dryly humorous and refuses to provide easy answers to its protagonist's dilemma. --Regina Marler
From Publishers Weekly
When 28-year-old Minnesotan Cath Rahven, the heroine of this tale of a curiously delayed coming-of-age, decides to make some changes in her life, the list includes not driving a cab anymore and not sleeping with men. Her to-do list, on the other hand, includes getting serious about writing, getting a new job and (last but not least) sleeping with women. Yet her best-laid plans go awry when she is greeted on the first day of her new career as a social worker with the suicide of a client; her attempts at mystery writing are stalled by the negative criticism she imagines from her father; and the course of her new love life does not run smoothly at all as she moves from lover to lover, breaking a whole slew of eggs before making an omelet with nurse Maggie and Maggie's daughter, Trina. When Cath's father falls ill, she explores her resentment at her place in the family, and, as he lies dying, decides to break the news of her altered sexual orientation. Readers may be divided over the timing of Cath's revelation: Is this selfish indulgence, or is she right to spring this glib new "identity" on her dad in his last moments? What is indisputable about this debut is Hawley's ear for dialogue and her graceful restraint in these vignettes about one woman's humble efforts to reinvent herself. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.