Self Care, a new novel by Leigh Stein, is a breezy beach read with satirical bite.
It follows Maren and Devin, co-founders of Richual, a multimillion dollar social media company selling self care and empowerment to women. White feminist Maren virtue signals like it is her full-time job (which it kind of is), while rich and beautiful Devin acts as the walking embodiment of what Richual sells, no VSCO filter needed. Meanwhile, top employee and lone Black woman Khadijah picks up the slack and tries to get Richual to embody its supposed ideals. When Richual’s high profile investor, a handsome reality TV star, is accused of sexual misconduct, all three women scramble to deal with the fallout, their existing personal and professional problems intensified and exposed, as they attempt to save the company and themselves.
Leigh Stein, writing in the first-person for all three leads, creates witty and believable characters. As with any good beach read there is plenty of drama and consumerist fantasy fun. What sets it apart is its funny and thought-provoking skewering of corporate America, social media, and performative wokeness.
So do yourself a favor and practice a little self care of your own: grab a spot poolside, and treat your mind and funny bone to Leigh Stein's Self Care. You've earned it. Just don't forget the sunscreen or cucumber basil infused water.