“Deborah’s writing is complex, layered, diverse, and, much like the writer herself, a bit paradoxical. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on what’s happening, everything falls out from under you…At times, her works seem reminiscent of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone or Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine. Her characters are complicated and flawed, but that’s precisely what makes them real, likable, and human.”
Olivay explores the wreckage of loss and the collision of grief, desire, and terror in its aftermath. Inspired by real life events, and struck by the themes of terror in our everyday lives, Reed surveys the consequence of a terrorist attack in Los Angeles from the confines of one woman’s apartment.
Widowed and sleepwalking through life, Olivay has reasons to conflate love and terror. For the past year, she has borne the anguish of her husband Will dying in her arms, along with the devastating media coverage and speculation that followed. Despite her despair, Olivay makes a connection with an alluring stranger named Henry, and takes him to her Los Angeles loft, thinking it will just be for the night. But the following morning, bombs detonate across the city; mayhem and carnage fill the streets; and her loft is covered in broken glass and her own blood.
As memories of Olivay and Will zip and morph around the apartment during the three-day lockdown, the possibility of Olivay loving again grows in time with her suspicions about Henry. News begins to surface about a suspect and Olivay wonders if Henry could be the man the FBI is on the hunt for. Rather than turn him in, she draws him closer, forcing him to tell her things he otherwise might not, and these confessions intensify both her affection and mistrust.
As the characters are pushed outside their comfort zones, forced to walk the thin line between destruction and salvation, Reed's latest keeps readers guessing what will become of Olivay and Henry until the very end, while trying to remain hopeful about finding love and foundation in the face of small terrors and towering ones, the ones we impose on ourselves and those inflicted by the outside world.