In her latest novel everything Carole Wolf sets out to tell the chronicle of a family, a band and an addiction. Interwoven is a tale of growing up, a love story, a road trip and all of this based on the highs and lows of a brilliant, creative, self destructive woman. At 548 pages it is huge. But it needs every one of those pages to cover such an ambitious tragedy.
Ms Wolf’s writing is outstanding. It flows off the page and wraps around your senses, recreating time, place, atmosphere and ambiance in an effortless tsunami that drowns out the outside world and subsumes the reader. We are swept up in the lives of Jolán, Rachel, Myla and the inhuman fourth character that impacts all of them in the most dramatic of ways.
The cast is huge, from the core characters of the band, immediate family and friends, to bit players we meet momentarily along the way. They are all drawn with detailed care, forcing their way off the page and into out imaginations so strongly you will remember many well beyond their actual presence. The main players are more than just solid and well rounded; they are so real you feel you know them personally.
It isn’t an easy read. It is a tough story about a woman’s painful decent into hell, and the impact that has on everyone around her. But while it is a tale of secrecy, deceit and despair it is also about redemption, forgiveness, and ultimately the self-sacrifice to ensure the survival of one you love more than yourself. A novel literally of two halves, the first shows us a constructed life that seems whole and complete, but when the layers of socially accepted appearance are pealed back we are left with something raw, bloody and very real.
Hats off to Ms Wolf for a creation that had me enthralled. Despite the obvious ‘decline of a rock and roll band’ plot, it had so many twists and turns, unexpected bumps and intriguing plays, to absorb me completely. It has left me churning with emotions from compassion for those whose lives were so severely impacted to joy for a love that survived everything and admiration for the mind of the woman who created it and her skill to deliver such a work.