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Francesca is a 20-year-old lesbian hopelessly infatuated with Irene, her community-college philosophy professor. Irene has taken a sabbatical to live in San Francisco for the year, and Francesca, at loose ends, follows her there in hopes of being included in her inner circle. The narrative traces Francesca's struggles to make sense of her feelings for Irene as well as Irene's complex relationship with Jenny and Gustavo, coinhabitants of Simplicity House, as they call their communal house, which is anything but simple. In her debut novel, Liebegott (creative writing, Univ. of California, San Diego; The Beautifully Worthless) is at her best when regaling the reader with life at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP), where Francesca works as a waitress to pay the rent, and anyone who has ever waited tables will relate. In her own na?ve way, Francesca makes hilarious, on-target observations about Irene's self-centered idealism and her penchant for surrounding herself with people who worship her. But the true center of the story is Francesca's own sense of self-worth and her struggle to find her way amid the craziness. Recommended for larger public libraries.-Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland Lib., OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Despite coming-of-age issues heavily laced with substance abuse, depression and angst, not to mention self-mutilation, Liebegott's smart and funny debut boasts an easy charm sure to win her fans. Francesca, aka Goaty, 19, is a fledgling writer (and a virgin) who has followed Irene, her junior-college philosophy teacher, to San Francisco in hopes of building a committed lesbian relationship with her, despite Irene's live-in male and female lovers, Gustavo and Jenny. Goaty isn't much more successful waitressing at IHOP, where she usually shows up for the graveyard shift in a crumpled, stained, smelly uniform. When she finally loses her burdensome virginity, it's to Jenny, though there is then an interlude with Irene when Gustavo is fighting with her. Maria, Goaty's attractive lesbian AA sponsor, helps thicken the plot and the jest. Peppered with heartbreaking flashbacks to a breakdown, with anxious phone calls from Mom, and with hilarious encounters and insights, this is a stirring portrait of the artist as a young goat taking possession of her creativity and of readers' hearts. --Whitney Scott Copyright 2007 Booklist
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Liebegott's debut novel is a coming-of-age coming-out in the tradition of Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle, but here, the portrait of an artist as punk waitress is more a celebration of sexuality than humanity. Twenty-year-old Francesca is a recovering drunk who finds comfort in cutting herself and harbors fantasies of her beautiful AA sponsor, Maria; her former philosophy teacher, Irene; and a soap opera heroine. "I wanted everything: Irene's cheekbones, empathy, and wisdom... the sheer beauty and curves of Maria-and the impossibility of Hope from Days of Our Lives," she confesses. Having followed Irene to San Francisco, Francesca lands a job at the International House of Pancakes, dreams of becoming "the kind of waitress who can carry five plates on each arm and glide around the room doing a dance of pancakes" and works on her memoir about losing her virginity and never quite finding love. The Lambda Literary Award-winning Liebegott (for her book-length poem The Beautifully Worthless) offers strikingly lyrical moments in an otherwise frank narrative of a writer teetering between adolescence and adulthood. (Feb. 13) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved