Black Iris - Leah Raeder

“Fuck forgiveness. That’s what they want me to do. Make it easy for them. Clear their consciences. Let them get away with what they’ve done. The powerful. The strong. The privileged. Not a fucking chance.” 

 

I'm honestly in awe of Leah Raeder right now. The fact that she produced such a darkly poetic love story weaved in with a visceral revenge scheme is just freaking outstanding.

A scene in part of the book discussed Humbert Humbert and his unreliable narration of Lolita and compared that to Laney's narration through Black Iris. I think this sums up so much of how I feel right now. Even despite what Humbert actually does in Lolita, his narration still makes you FEEL for him, even when you really wish you didn't. You want to hate him for what he has done and who he is destroying, but that dark part of you can't do it. You revel in his poetic nature and he somehow convinces you that he isn't all bad. That is what Raeder does with Laney. You want to be appalled at her actions. You want to turn away and tell her what she is doing is wrong. But that dark part of you doesn't let you. You respect her for what she is doing and you sincerely hope that she is able to completely destroy all of those people. You revel in her successes.

 

In all this though, the comparisons that Raeder uses between Laney and Humbert's unreliable narrations, is something that truly disturbs me about this world. The fact that Laney hates herself for what she is and in some way actually compares herself with Humbert is something that I find incredibly depressing and telling about how far we really still have to go in this world. The fact that we can read a book with a plot like this one and can see it actually being something that can happen...it's just, I don't know how to fully describe how it makes me feel. Sad all around. Sad that we have to have disclaimers on books to warn people off just in case they are offended. Offended by a consensual love between people. That is actually matters what sex or how many people are involved. Any of it. Anyway.

 

I recommend for anyone and everyone to read this book. It's intensely suspenseful. It's beauty wrapped in an ugly package. It's ugly wrapped in a beautiful package. It's eye-opening. It's outstanding.