After a long and difficult three years, my third book – Approaching The Speed Of Light – is done! As of now [December 2010], it is at HarperPerennial, and we await their reaction...
Set in New York city, against the millennial hope and dread of the last half of 1999, Approaching The Speed Of Light is a deeply psychological and powerful portrait of human emotions, frailties, cruelties, kindnesses, blessings, and resiliency. It is an exploration of the imbalance and abuse of power in human relationships – from the brutally overt to the subtly covert – and of the terrible toll abuse takes on the human soul, and how that toll reverberates into the world and down through time.
The story is told through the wry self-deprecating voice and splintered persona of Jody, a twenty-eight year old man who as a child suffered years of abuse at the hands of his mother’s drug-dealing boyfriend, as well as his mother’s neglect and ultimate abandonment. Mixed in with Jody’s narration are a series of flashbacks that relate his history.
Although Jody is smart, handsome, athletically gifted, and warm-hearted, a seemingly successful person with a good job, an active life, and a string of lovely girlfriends, inside he is a shattered person. His childhood experiences have warped him, left him with no clear sense of identity, no self-esteem, no comprehension of the concepts of love, trust, kindness, or happiness.
For twenty years, Jody has carefully managed his world, and himself. But in the space of one fateful week, he meets Tess – a gently fading 80-year old widow with a lost son; Ella – a lonely 47-year old divorcée with a lost love; and Fern – Jody’s brother’s new girlfriend, a young woman with a complicated, unconscious need to seek out pain. As the entanglements between Jody and the three woman develop, he finds himself wrenched out of his carefully managed world. Each woman pulls at a different thread of his tattered personality, offering him peace, love, or disaster.
Gradually, Jody is forced to confront his past. And as we watch him struggle to understand who he is, what happened to him and why, only one question comes to matter: can Jody survive and find happiness in his life, or was the damage done to him fatal.