The truth is like a feral animal
January 12, 2023 • Los Angeles
A debut novel came out last month from a friend and peer, Teja Rhae Watson, and I recommend it as required reading in the new year. Like lots of thoughtful literature, it’s delightfully hard to categorize, but I’d call it a mystery, a buddy story, and a tale of trauma and redemption, with a road trip thrown in. The series is called “The Spirit Reports,” and after reading the first novel, Light Reclaimed: Billie Knight, I can say it is shaping up to be rewarding reading. A summary of the Light Reclaimed:
It’s June 2020, and on top of the Covid shutdowns and racial justice revolution, Billie Knight’s dad just died. She soon realizes he wasn’t the one who hurt her when she was a kid—but then who the hell was?
Billie, a fifty-year-old muralist and art teacher, sets out to solve the mystery of her trauma—from the off-grid queer community she built on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, through Seattle’s autonomous zones and underground theaters, to her wild childhood home of Humboldt County—with her long-lost bestie, Randall, as her partner. Between stakeouts, suspect-snatchings, witness interviews, and flashbacks, Billie and Randall must also confront the conflicts that kept them apart for so many years.
The truth is like a feral animal: the closer they get, the more it claws and hisses. But Billie and her spirit army are determined to fight—to bring the perpetrators to justice and reclaim Billie’s place in the universe.