A woman’s struggle with addiction becomes a journey towards self-acceptance in this novel.
It’s 1993, and Dacia has had enough of her husband Leonard’s verbal abuse. Not a day goes by without some sort of angry outburst, followed by name-calling. But everyone has their limits, and Dacia makes the brave decision to leave. After getting a new job at a call center and finding a room to rent, she feels confident that things are looking up. Still, she finds it hard to shake the fear that her abuser will drag her back to her old life, so Dacia finds herself using alcohol and drugs to help ease her anxiety. At first, these episodes merely involve drinking and smoking marijuana, but things take a turn for the worse when she starts using meth. As Dacia’s life begins to spiral downward, it seems that getting clean may be forever out of her reach. Then an unexpected event gives her a chance to turn her life around—but does she have what it takes to make lasting change? Plato (Trials & Tribulations of Modesty Greene, 2018, etc.) describes the psychological toll of enduring an abusive relationship in harrowing detail: “Nervous bile boiled in my gut. My mind played his words again. Good luck, Dacia. You’re going to need it. The way he’d said my name, laced with venom, made me ill.” There are many graphic sex scenes, which may not appeal to some readers. However, these are effectively used to illustrate the protagonist’s aimless and often emotionally empty existence. Because the story is written from Dacia’s engaging first-person perspective, it won’t take long before readers feel invested in her success or failure; throughout, she remains a relatable character, no matter how many mistakes she makes.
A somewhat-grim but often inspirational read.