Briar Averill suffers from agoraphobia and panic attacks; she never left the house for a whole year when she was fifteen. It's now six years later, and Briar finds herself revealing her secret to her friends Justine and Melodie. These girls have problems of their own, which are slowly revealed throughout the book. Throw in Briar's brother Paul, Justine's abusive boyfriend Addison, and Melodie's new roommate Dermot, and we have some serious fireworks.
The narrative jumps between Briar's past and present experiences and is interspersed with fragments of Briar's short story about the Last Man, whose lonely life parallels her own. As the story-telling becomes more fragmented toward the end of the book, we begin to wonder what is real and what is not. As Briar herself says, "Sometimes it's so very difficult to know what's the truth anymore."
There are some minor editing errors, especially the misuse of certain words, e.g., "compliment" for "complement", "desert for dessert", "bought" for "brought", "advise" for "advice". Overall, however, this book is well-written and easy to read, and the (male) author does an incredible job of getting inside the minds of his female characters. He also has a wonderful poetic way with words, e.g., "The low red moon glows hypnotically, a burning fire in the quiet blackness."
I absolutely loved this book and look forward to more from this author.
Warnings: Coarse language. This book also covers several serious themes such as domestic abuse, self-loathing, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, self-harm, suicide, and incest.
I received this book for the purpose of providing an honest review.