The book is told as a diary, in part, and third-party narration in part. We learn that Ripley was an ordinary, pretty and smart, girl, until her life drastically changed as an eleven year-old, when the first of several traumas, which she likens to having an atom bomb dropped on her head, occurred. In response to that last trauma, she committed a crime which landed her in juvenile detention until she became an adult. She earned a GED while locked up, and attended mandatory psychiatric counselling, along with mandated pharmacotherapy. At the climactic scene of the novel, Ripley will be a mere twenty-two years of age.
I believe in fiction there should be a character arc, meaning something happens to a character during the story that changes who they are at the beginning to who they become at the end. With Ripley, in this book, we see the most change, where she goes from being nearly un-apologetic for how she lives her life and deceives her doctors to facing her history, her actions based on that history, and carrying out exactly what she feels she can do to compensate for the pain she caused, even though she never gets closure herself.
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Drifting, Falling — Diary of a Call Girl Suicide, chronicles the story of Ripley Luna, a smart, beautiful young woman who suffered multiple childhood traumas that set her on a collision course with her fate to kill herself. Ripley, whose name is an homage to the protagonist of the Alien movies, dreamed as a child of becoming an astronaut. Her dream derailed by the jetsam of her traumas, she earns a living in the only way she knows how — as a courtesan for a stable of rich clients. During the day, she attends college to broaden her horizons while at night, she sails the bed sheets, not the stars as she had dreamed. Her natural inquisitiveness and intelligence prod her to better herself.
Ripley peels back the layers of her life with humor and sarcasm. With the help of her psychiatrist, Dan Truscott, a man deep in his own moral quagmire, and Mort, her best friend, she tries to navigate her way off the Earth into space. Ripley, ever fond of astronaut lore and with a predilection for Greek mythology, will keep you guessing whether the Lost Moon slogan of Apollo 13 “Failure is not an option” — will come to pass.
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