Molly Morris is a 42-year-old, headstrong Jewish New Yorker who has had it with her family's conventional middle-class values. She flees to Long Beach, California to begin a vibrant new life far from her critical mother. There, she finds love with Javier, an attractive Mexican auto mechanic who invites her into his life, his culture and his close-knit family. Life is good...very good...until tragedy strikes and Molly's grief and self-recrimination plunge her into depression and drug addiction. Bold, frank and void of sentimentality, Until the Darkness Goes explores Molly's vulnerabilities, her search for meaning in the face of tragedy, and ultimately her return to a sense of purpose in the most unexpected way.
Molly is surprised to find the Foster Care representative at her door. More surprised when she sees a bi-racial latino-black boy of about eight or ten years old with Mrs. Robertson. This encounter brings Molly to a new place in her world, and maybe in her heart. Nothing heals like the reality of a vulnerable child in need.
A shared grief at the loss of a child is complicated. More so for Molly and Javier as their relationship is new with little besides mutual attraction. Without the "glue" of more fully developed emotion, then, to hold them together, they resort to drugs and alcohol to fill the void. Javier is more rooted in his life and family, and Molly is a NYC ex-patriot who is estranged from her mother. She seeks ways to get high and above her depression. They become violent toward one another which culminates in bruised bodies and broken bones. Molly doesn't look so good coming back to high school with yellowing bruises and a broken collar bone.
Some things to know about the novel's origin. Back in the early 90s, I lived in the Washington, DC area. On an ungodly hot and humid Saturday, my husband and I drove over to the Odeon movie theater to see Mel Gibson play Hamlet. As we locked the car doors a very pretty woman in her early 40s stepped in front of us. She looked nervously toward me and then my husband and said, "I'll do anything you want." She had long dark hair and was shaking. The thing I remember most was that, in all that heat, she looked cool and immaculate. No sweat beading on her forehead. Stunned, we walked away but she haunted me. I kept asking myself, "what can make someone demean themselves like this?" Molly is almost at that point when we meet her.
Molly's life comes crashing down around her in a way only a woman can experience. At almost forty-three years old, her joy of giving birth to Stella was a miracle she could almost pray to. Then death at an early age, the unthinkable, the irrational universe's cruel joke visits Molly and Javier.
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