A Parisian Review: “If you wish to buy or offer a book that’s thought-provoking and absolutely ‘unputdownable’, Lucy, go see is what you’re looking for.”

p1080253.jpgIf you wish to buy or offer a book that’s thought-provoking and absolutely ‘unputdownable’, Lucy, go see. is what you’re looking for. When we think of international models we can’t help bringing to mind the usual clichés. However, in Lucy, go see., we are confronted with a funny, philosophical, curious, beautiful woman who explodes most of those preconceived ideas. As we read, Lucy develops into a woman who resists dehumanizing, and being dehumanized  with every bone in her body, in a business world where she is viewed as a commodity, and where back at home in Iowa she is perceived if not exactly as the black sheep, definitely as a multicolored, un-herdable one. People persist in trying to categorize Lucy’s body and mind, and lucky for her that somewhere deep down she manages, against the odds, to retain the knowledge that both are sound. However, when she listens to people around her, they question both, and ‘helpful’ suggestions of lithium and starvation are thrown in her direction. The very essence of Lucy seems to be more at home in nature, than under layers of make-up and crimped hair, but although her Iowa countryside feeds her, she also needs to see a bigger, wider world, and modeling is her ticket out. The reader imbibes her word-painted auto-portrait and is as confused as she when hairdressers, make-up artists and stylists don’t seem to understand the canvas and insist on transmogrifying her beauty into a cheaper, brassier version. Through Lucy’s visits to international modeling agencies, and meetings with top executives and bookers, we get a grasp of how models have to start out on their career with a strong self-image, and fight tooth and nail to maintain it, and understand how they could be easily pushed on a downward spiral of eating disorders and low self-esteem if they don’t have a good spring to their internal resistance. Lucy’s metaphysical questions are not only confined to the city and her jet set career, she also has to deal with advances from her paternal grandfather in an extremely patriarchal mid-western family back in Iowa. She tackles the problem with honesty and integrity and fast fledging courage, ruffling others’ feathers on the way. With her new unfaithful wife and divorcée status, she also has to justify her own right to speak out against being harmed. The treatment of the complex, taboo situation is thorough as Lucy fights to protect herself mentally and physically, and tries to rescue her own pure love for her grandfather from the complex backdrop of a widower’s loneliness and feistiness that took a very wrong turn. Romantic love is not missing from the book and the reader is as fixated and as frustrated as Lucy by the handsome and enigmatic Julien who like Lucy is very different from any stereotypical model. While making love with Julien Lucy has beautiful visions and shortly after they become lovers, Lucy like Saint Teresa, experiences ‘ecstasy’, (as depicted by the artist Bernini in The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa and not in tablet form!). By the end of the book we feel slightly sorry for the male model agency executives, her family and her ex-husband’s belief that they could categorize Lucy and clip her wings. This strong, shamanic, inspiring woman was way out of their orbit. Lucy, go see. is one of the most enjoyable and inspirational books, for anyone, but particularly for women, who may want to also find the courage to go see for themselves… I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Lucy and hopefully Marianne Maili the author will publish a sequel quickly. We sense that the book may be more than somewhat autobiographical and would also like to discover more about Marianne herself…

–Patricia Killeen

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