Approaching the Speed of Light

Victoria Lustbader, Author
Victoria Lustbader. Forge, $24.99 (365p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3490-9
Reviewed on: 09/16/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4668-1896-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-2424-4
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-7653-7883-5
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A young man begins to heal from childhood trauma with the help of a mysterious elderly spiritualist and a beautiful piano teacher. Beyond heartbreaking, this deeply evocative novel tells of young Jody Kowalczyk, who experienced the horrors of mental and physical cruelty from adults, and the deprivation of love and affection, safety and security, self-esteem and nurturing. Lustbader's depiction of Jody's early years is neither delicate nor subtle; his mother's boyfriend used him as a "human voodoo doll, punctured by his love, his rage, his guns…." But one day, while a teen, Jody has a brief, chance meeting in a doughnut shop with a beautiful woman, which propels him toward a new life, and the "promise of hope, rebirth." A decade later, Jody has an ordinary life with a steady job, lovers and a faithful, omniscient dog named Einstein. While on a job site at a seniors' home, Jody meets Tess, whose incredible vision helps Jody call out his demons, and who also leads him to Ella. He and Ella fall in love, helping each other to trust and heal. Lustbader's (Stone Creek) prose is remarkably eloquent as she takes on a wretched subject. She carefully mines Jody's damaged psyche, presenting a vivid and compelling portrait of a child trauma survivor. (Aug.)
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