Visceral, the scent of blood a constant in the air, this is a high-impact experience. Told through compelling anti-heroine narrator, Joan, the sexual trauma of her past accumulates as her rage takes action in the present. The propulsion and lurid pleasure of a revenge thriller are here in excess. Even more resonant is the heart-breaking emotional depth, including unflinching scenes of child abuse, rape and miscarriage. It left me reeling.
For many years my rage was dormant. I’d lived to survive. I could call up the hideous event, but in a far-off way. I could have dictated only the facts. I could not have called up each moment of horror. Back then not a second went by that I didn’t feel like something was eating my heart. But in the Canyon the pain turned to rage and the rage was growing around me the way the sunbaked bougainvillea grew around the old swingers’ mansion.