Natalie (Nat) Murphy is a 21-year old art student, really struggling financially to make school work as well as survive in New York. As she reaches a desperate point, one of her fellow students who seems to be living well beyond her means suggests that she consider her solution…become a “Sugar Baby” and find herself a safe “Sugar Daddy.” After some soul searching, she decides to give it a try and connects with Gabe Turnmill, a wealthy, fifty-ish lawyer who is handsome and powerful.
One of the reasons I wanted to read this story is because I’ve struggled to understand how young, intelligent women turn to this kind of solution and I trusted this author to give me that insight. Well, mission accomplished as Nat’s descent from a young, talented and idealistic student to the mess she found herself embroiled in was well chronicled and ultimately inevitable. While we have all heard the stories, what resounded for me was just how much Nat was a victim, even though she was the one shunned and judged. The manipulation of young women by powerful older men is so clearly illustrated without filter…it’s that eye opening, even as Nat isn’t always portrayed sympathetically. It’s just tough getting around the predatory behavior.
I also chose to listen to this story and found the narrator wonderful. I thought it challenging to effectively capture both Nat and Gabe but Amanda Dolan pulled it off nicely. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for her future book performances.
Some may consider this journey predictable but it’s the subtleties throughout that demand attention…Nat’s interpretations of Gabe’s lies and attentions and his dependence on manipulation. It is a part of who he is and most others like him who create Sugar Babies (note I lay their creation squarely at the feet of these men). You’ll even find yourself liking him. Nat isn’t completely innocent but she certainly was a victim and that’s something that came through loudly. I’ll never look at these young girls the same way again and for that I’m grateful to this story.
- Release Date: July 30, 2019
- Narrator: Amanda Dolan
- Audio Length: 9 hours, 15 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)