A very interesting read. I struggled all the way through to like Helen, but her assurances that she really was a good person and none of it was her fault did not convince me anymore than she could convince herself. A stark change from the Tess series, and reminds me a bit of Emma--a heroine one can never really like but who can't seem to see that she creates her own misery.
Not a book for teens, I think, although most of the graphic descriptions on expects a sex worker book to include are left out. It does feel as if Lippman is lecturing us all on the evils of sex trade, but a likeable character would not have hurt, and the time she took to bash Lesbian ministers was just plain annoying. As long as you don't expect Tess to show up, you might like the book. I think she was trying to do an Upton Sinclair "The Jungle" type social critique.
Lars Keplar or Steig Larssen do a better job but are far more graphic.