A provocative debut of sex and sexuality—“depicting the liquid frequencies of need and power with a thoughtful, savage eye” (Raven Leilani)—as a twentysomething New Yorker pursues a sexual freedom that follows no other lines than her own desire.
If sex is a truth-teller, Eve—a young, queer woman in Brooklyn—is looking for answers. On an evening when she is feeling particularly impulsive, she posts some nude photos of herself online. This is how Eve meets Olivia, and through Olivia, the charismatic Nathan—and soon the three begin a relationship that disturbs Eve as much as it delights her. As each act of the affair unfolds, Eve is left to ask: to whom is she responsible? And to what extent do our desires determine who we are?
In the way that only great fiction can, Acts of Service takes between its teeth the contradictions written all over our ideas of sex and sexuality. As incisive as it is exhilarating, this novel asks us to face our ideas about desire and power: what sex means to us, the forces that shape it, and how we find—or lose—ourselves in intimacy. At once juicy and intellectually challenging, sacred and profane, it might be the most thought-provoking book you read all year.