Finished January 31
Clown Girl by Monica Drake
This book is told from the point of view of Nita. Nita earns a living, meager though it is, as a clown. Her boyfriend Rex has travelled away to audition for clown school, using the money that she had saved. She lives in a small room in her ex-boyfriend Herman's house with her small dog Chance. Since Rex went away life hasn't been good. Herman's new girlfriend resents her presence and seems to look for ways to make trouble for her. She's had health issues. The group of clowns she does gigs with seems to be going in a direction that she's not comfortable with in terms of image. Things keep disappearing, and she seems to have developed a hard to define relationship with a local police officer.
Nita spends all her time in her clown gear and in her clown persona as Sniffles. She makes balloon figures of religious scenes and works on her Kafka routine. Is she hiding from someone specific, from herself, or from the world in general by doing this. When questioned about anything she falls into jokes and comedy routines, getting herself into further trouble.
Things keep going from bad to worse, and Nita is finally forced to face the truth about the life she's been living.