Bardessono, in his debut novel, offers a witty, touching tale of an extraordinary young man’s love for an older woman.
When Daren picks up his usual dinner at a local deli on his 16th birthday, he expects a quiet supper before going back to work. Instead, a naked man comes into the deli ranting about the end of the world. Daren initially dismisses him as a lunatic, but the man recognizes a talent in Daren that they both share: the ability to see visions. “You have seen it, young one....You are one of its children,” the stranger says. Daren has long had sporadic visions of dark red clouds, and he eventually comes to believe that the visions may be related to a deeper understanding of the universe. Daren and his group of friends divide their time between high school classes, theatre rehearsals and substance abuse. The young men dedicate their lives to living in the moment until Daren meets Lee, a beautiful 24-year-old woman. Daren recognizes something in her (“In her eyes, I had seen something impossible. Incredible as it seemed, I thought it had been a mutual exchange”) and he feels they are destined to be together. Daren and Lee fall in love and form a deep and intense connection before events take a tragic turn. The novel poignantly depicts Daren’s struggles to reconcile his strange visions with the world around him, giving way to an exploration of love, addiction and maturity. Bardessono tells the story with a fresh, offbeat style, full of cleverness and humor.
An original, quirky love story.