Julia wakes up every night with terrible nightmares. They are so real that she feels like she is living them, like she is the woman who is crying for help and trying to escape her captors.
She tries everything she can to get the rest that she so desperately needs but even sleeping pills do not work for long. Eventually Julia resorts to a support group for sleep problems. There she discovers other lesbians in the group who are having similar experiences. The women band together to solve the mystery behind their insomnia and maybe they will be able to save the captive woman in time.
The story is entirely written from Julia’s point of view. This gives the novel a claustrophobic, close up feeling which works really well. It also gives the book a feeling of urgency.
The Writing Style
Have I mentioned lately that I love the way Kallmaker writes? Her style in this book is very different from her traditional romances. This one is moody and dark. Instead of the vibrant full colour novels we are used to from Kallmaker, Night Vision can be described as sepia. And it works so well.
I adore books that buck the norm and with Nightvision Kallmaker has done exactly this. I must add here that I love her traditional romances too. But there is something really special when an author unleashes the writer within and just tells us the story that is buried deep inside. I feel like I am uncovering a treasure when I read such books, like every page I turn is another layer gone until you are left staring at the hidden gold.
If you want a traditional romance this is not it. Not that it’s a con really. But for those die hard romantics, this book isn’t for you unless you really want to read something amazing and really different.
If you are a regular reader of The Lesbian Review then you probably know that one of my favourite lesbian novel of all time is Christabel by Karin Kallmaker. Let me tell you, though, this book gave Christabel a good run for her money.
Night Vision is an excellent read. It is dark. It is claustrophobic and it will sit with you. But, oh, the journey is so worth it. And while the end is not traditionally happy it is satisfying in its own way.
Yes. This book is worth it.
Excerpt from Night Vision by Karin Kallmaker
“None of this is going to make any sense.” I rested my chin on my hand as I struggled to keep eye contact with the intense woman across the table from me. “You’re going to think we’re all one step away from strapping on brand-new Nikes and sprinkling cyanide on our applesauce.”
Tamar had a way of looking at me – not right in the eyes, but as if she were trying to see right into my brain. She was looking at me that way now. “I’m not going to assume you’re looking to catch a ride on the next comet out of the galaxy.”
I looked down at the fancy compact digital recorder she has set up on the tiny dinette table. The wind rocked the little motor home, and I glanced around at my companions. Having elected me the one to tell Tamar the whole truth and nothing but the truth, they were grabbing what little sleep they could. The strain of the past two weeks showed on every face.
Vina was snoring delicately and frowning on the little built-in couch. Rose was curled on a sleeping bag in the few feet available along the front of the bathroom and kitchen area, but I doubted she was asleep. I could just see Geri’s arm and shoulder in the overhead. JT was propped up in the passenger seat in the cab. Her fingers moved slightly, as if she dreamed.
Dreams – that was where it had all started. The wind snapped around the motor home, and sand spattered against the windows. “Stuck in the Middle with You” played in the stereo in my head.
Tamar prompted me with, “Begin at the beginning.”
“I’m not one of those people who remembers their dreams,” I said. “Every once in a while I remember – like showing up at work in pajamas. Everyone has that kind of dream. Anxiety, I guess.”
Tamar nodded. Her eyes told me to go on.
“Three weeks ago I started having dreams that I remembered…”
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-1594931369
Publisher: Bella Books
Karin Kallmaker Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Night Vision by Karin Kallmaker for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.