Our Bookseller says:
“Written with blistering honesty and empathy, this is an unflinching portrait of addiction and the gritty, gutsiness of coming into oneself as a woman.
We meet Irene and Luce, two best friends in rural North Carolina, while they’re clean, just before a traumatic event. What follows are the just-high-enough-highs and the seemingly-bottomless-lows of their addictions, each of them pulled into strains of codependency and recklessness while the possibility of getting clean looms in the distance like a mirage.
The characters’ insistence on using drugs as emotional napalm and Tucker’s raw, vulnerable prose demand more than that we see a piece of society often ignored. They demand we feel it.”
TW: addiction, assault
Related: Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce & Marlena by Julie Buntin
Irene, a lonely nineteen-year-old in rural North Carolina, works long nights at the local pool hall, serving pitchers and dodging drunks. One evening, her hilarious, magnetic coworker Luce invites her on a joy ride through the mountains to take revenge on a particularly creepy customer. Their adventure not only spells the beginning of a dazzling friendship, it seduces both girls into the mysterious world of pills and the endless hustles needed to fund the next high.
Together, Irene and Luce run nickel-tossing scams at the county fair and trick dealers into trading legit pharms for birth-control pills. Everything is wild and wonderful until Luce finds a boyfriend who wants to help her get clean. Soon the two of them decide to move away and start a new, sober life in Florida—leaving Irene behind.
Told in a riveting dialogue between the girls’ addicted past and their hopes for a better future, Bewilderness is not just a brilliant, funny, heartbreaking novel about opioid abuse, it’s also a moving look at how intense, intimate friendships can shape every young woman’s life.