"The first time I had sex with a man for money, it was September —still like summer, but the heat in the motel room was on and it seemed to coat my throat with dust. The man was dull, small-eyed, no taller than myself, but he seemed afraid. He wouldn't look at me. When I asked him what he wanted me to do, he said, 'That's your job.'" So begins the poet Laura Kasischke's mesmerizing and unforgettable first novel. Leila Murray is the novel's narrator - young, married, living in a small town, and working in a motel as a receptionist, then as a prostitute. Leila slowly discloses the details of her childhood, her mother's murder, and the numb promiscuity of her adolescence, while contemporary events unfold and lead her to the dark turn her life will take one October weekend when she meets a man named Gary Jensen.