Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Midnight Tequila by Suzann Kale
(CreateSpace: Stardust Zoo / 1-449-51564-9 / 978-1-449-51564-5 / March 2010 / 232 pages / $12.00 / Kindle $6.39)
Reviewed by Lloyd Lofthouse for PODBRAM
Solange Duval, the fifty-two-year-old main character in Midnight Tequila, is a woman who enjoys her hot flashes, her booze, and her drugs, but misses her husband Paul-Michel, who died from cancer years earlier. Although it is never clear where the money comes from that supports her almost plush lifestyle, she does earn cash as a 900-line telephone Tarot Card reading fortuneteller. I suspect Paul-Michel may have had money or an insurance policy but that is never mentioned.
Solange also dreams of success playing the harp, and when it finally looks like she's made it in Rio, she sabotages the chance by a few flawed notes and returns to Texas.
Throughout the novel, Solange often remembers moments with Paul-Michel. To me, it was obvious her depression and need for booze and drugs was to stay numb. He may have been the only person who understood her. Even having regular sex with kinky Carlo, who tries hot-wax sex, seems to be an attempt to forget. In fact, Solange doesn't seem to have much to enjoy from life. For a companion, Solange has Bunny May, a wise, toothless diabetic cat, who shouldn't be drinking milk but does.
The story is nicely balanced between the 900 calls and Solange's "trips" through life with her equally strange friends. Solange is not a stereotypical character. She is a uniquely challenged individual and an almost lost soul, and that is what makes this story worth reading.
At times, Solange comes off as a sexy, ditzy airhead, who even in her 50s turns heads with her cute figure. She writes in a dream journal of dark places that reminded me of someone suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). There are hints that she may have been sexually abused earlier in life and Paul-Michel rescued her, the only man she probably ever loved, and losing him solidified her PTSD.
This novel, which meanders through the head of someone who has almost lost herself to darkness, is an intriguing character study and it isn't a nice place to be if you are Solange, but it is worth the read if you are someone who enjoys stories that do not follow a formula genre outline. I enjoyed reading Midnight Tequila and recommend it.
See also: Suzann's Amazon Page
Suzann's Authors Den Page
The Author's Stardust Zoo Website