A post-apocalyptic tale about the power of art and the urgency of human connection.
Luce Cannon is on tour with her backing band when it happens. Shootings and bomb threats have already become common, but then there's an attack on a West Coast baseball stadium just before the band is supposed to go onstage for a sold-out concert in the nicest theater they've ever played. The concert is canceled, and soon so are all public gatherings. Cut off from performing, and with no real home to go back to since she left her Orthodox Jewish family rather than come out to them as queer, Luce is adrift. Rosemary Laws never knew Luce’s world. She grew up after the attack and the pox. She works in virtual reality all day. The one time she went to a bar, it was a virtual bar—with the cocktails “droned to her doorstep.” But her first "live" concert experience takes her breath away. So when she gets a job offer from the company that produces those virtual reality concerts, she takes it even though it’ll require actual travel into the real, live world. The story of how Luce’s world—our world—turns into Rosemary’s is vividly rendered and chillingly plausible. But it’s what happens when Luce and Rosemary collide, when Rosemary finally experiences human connection in all its messy beauty, that makes this story so unusual, and powerful, and cements Pinsker's (Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea, 2019) status as a rising star in the world of speculative fiction.
A gorgeous novel that celebrates what can happen when one person raises her voice.