The Light in the Sound
by Vanessa Gonzales
Bread and Beauty Publishing

"So what area of the store do you want to stock today while you're being liberated? There's a stack of magazines in the back displaying the amazing feats of a nine-inch schlong. Or would you rather stock the new DVD's featuring what has to be Oscar worthy performances of midgets - excuse me, little people - blowing their wads on each other's faces?"

Rachel has it all: a job she hates at a porn shop, a Calico cat, a budding relationship with the guy (Justin) who works next door in a camera shop, and a hobby of taking photographs of orbs and her ongoing beliefs regarding ghosts. Along the way, we learn about her relationship with her friend Sadie, a new friendship with Cerise (a friend of Justin's), the drug X, and her budding bisexuality. Within all of this, Rachel is a survivor of numerous traumas including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and the constraints put upon her regarding the stifling religious beliefs of the Mormon church. Her biological mother left years ago, and while she was kicked out of her home as a teenager, Rachel had the strength to get her GED and continue to survive in the world. Battling night terrors, insomnia, and probable PTSD, Rachel struggles in her relationships with men and women, including friends, lovers, and family.

Sex, Lies, and Videotapes comes to mind when reading this funny, dark, enlightening novel of one woman's path in growing up as a young adult. The book is a quick and easy read, but also smartly written. The writing is well done with funny dialogue and serious drama. For is Rachel able to cope with her losses and continue on a path of healing from wounds both past and present? Is looking for love a healing journey or a waste of effort? Rachel's character is a wonderful journey into the life of a young adult and an adult who was thrown into adulthood far too early without a loving childhood and a childhood of abandonment. The ending is a surprise and adds to her character. A story of becoming an adult, this is a nice debut novel.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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