Free Press, Aug 2008, $24.00
In Indiana, college senior Trace Pennington earns a “living” working at a farmhouse while attending school under the name of Ianthe Covington. .She excels at school, but is a life drop out. She may have run away from home but the abuse of her home and her mom’s church never left her in spite of an exorcism. Her only contact at home is Candy who insists both of them have had encounters of the first kind with aliens.
When Trace meets older sophisticated Dr. Jacob Matthias, she begins to have dark sexual dreams about having sex with him as a father substitute for her broken angelic dad. Trace intellectually knows this would be a mistake, but her increasing madness drives her to be what her dream lover wants her to be until she marries her professor who shapes her into his second faculty wife. As the insanity supersedes the increasingly rare intelligent clear moments, Trace whenever she lucidly remembers who she is also wonders what to do when he ever rejects her like he must have with his vanished first spouse.
This is not an easy book to read as Haven Kimell gets deep inside the head of a very disturbed female who opens the novel with a stunning “confession” and continues to dig deeper into the battered darkened psyche of the probably insane lead protagonist. Although this disturbing well written character study can turn overly melodramatic, readers who appreciate something radically different will want to read IODINE, the psychological story of an abused child who has become a mentally ill adult.