Dirty suburbias are working-class neighborhoods in which girls who are left to fend for themselves sometimes become predators, as well as affluent communities in which women discover that money is no protection against sexism, both their own and others’.
One young woman sets up her abusive, cheating boyfriend, hoping he’ll get arrested so that she can rescue him and win him back. A teenager arranges to meet up with an older man she’s met online playing video games; she brings a knife with her, just in case. A middle-aged divorcee attempts to rekindle a romantic relationship with her high school English teacher, who happens to be a former nun. A struggling academic falls in love with a Henry David Thoreau impersonator, and a well-adjusted grad student goes home for Christmas only to be repulsed by her family’s casual cruelty.
Despite the ugliness and injustice, they face, as well as the failures of their families and communities, these characters often find relief in friendship and connection, and sometimes, even discover meaning and cause for hope.