One millennial woman's journey through our late capitalist hellscape and offers a brilliantly incisive look at the absurdities of modern life....
A year into her dream job at a cutthroat Silicon Valley startup, Cassie is trapped in a corporate nightmare. Between the long hours, toxic bosses and unethical projects, she struggles to reconcile the glittering promise of a city where obscene wealth lives alongside abject poverty. Ivy League grads complain about the snack selection from a conference room with a view of houseless people bathing in the bay. Startup burnouts leap into the paths of commuter trains and men literally set themselves on fire in the streets.
Though isolated, Cassie is never alone. From her earliest memory, the black hole has been her constant companion. It feeds on her depression and anxiety, its size changing in relation to her distress. The black hole watches, but it also waits. Its relentless pull draws Cassie ever closer as the world around her unravels.
When her CEO's demands cross an illegal line and her personal life spirals towards a bleak precipice, Cassie must decide whether the tempting fruits of Silicon Valley are worth the pain, or succumb to the black hole.
Etter expertly diverts the novel from neat or didactic tropes...Etter's exquisite prose powers the book. There are also moments when one wishes that Cassie might seek more connection with others, might reflect a bit more deeply about those around her. However, Etter doesn't grant us such easy ways out. Sometimes embracing the darkness is the only way to get through it. -- Alexandra Chang * The New York Times *
An absolute must read... Unsettling, tense and funny * A Glamour 'Best New Books for August 2023 *
Etter's work is undoubtedly surreal, but then so is American life today... Ripe hits very close to home -- Jessica Ferri * Los Angeles Times *
bold and beautiful * bookshop.org *
Sarah Rose Etter's glorious sucker punch of a second novel... Ripe could feel dauntingly heavy in different hands, but with Etter's artfully deft and empathetic prose, it's something of a dark adventure * Shondaland *