Publisher: Dark Victory Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Set against Arizona’s political and cultural vortex at the start of 2010, “The Intersect” explores the issues of the day by weaving together the lives of disparate characters striving to survive in a world where the strongest link, and most lasting connection, is made among strangers. When Dave and Charlie relocate from the Bay Area to Phoenix, tensions ratchet up in their relationship as Charlie insists on buying a house on the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore as Dave contemplates leaving his job. Daisy, a spry septuagenarian, shows up at their front door after a long convalescence, unaware that her greedy, Michigan relatives, Jack and Enid, have already sold her home. Charlie assumes the older woman is Dave’s distant aunt and happily ushers her into a guest room. Meanwhile, across town, Anna, a gifted psychic who channels the dead, is concerned about her neighborhood. She hires a handyman to install motion-detectors, unaware that Ernie has entered the United States illegally from Mexico as a child. When Henry, a homeless gay teen, attempts to rob Anna, Ernie intervenes and a melee ensues. The police mistakenly arrest Ernie, leading to his deportation. And so begins “The Intersect” as relationships unravel, secrets are revealed, love blossoms, and injustice leads to a thrilling climax.
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of having Brad Graber here for a Q & A. Ever since, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the time when The Intersect would finally pop up in my TBR list. I loved the premise for this one, converging storylines always catch my interest and Graber did an outstanding job of weaving the lives of eight characters together here.
As I mentioned earlier, there are eight different people here that eventually cross paths. Some happened early on while others took some time and left me wondering just how these seemingly unrelated people would fit together. Dave and Charlie are a couple who have recently relocated to Phoenix from San Fransisco for a new career opportunity for Dave. Daisy is an elderly woman who has an accident that leaves her incapacitated and vulnerable. Jack and Enid move to Phoenix from Detroit and Jack is Daisy’s nephew. Anna is a psychic and Ernie is an illegal immigrant who does handyman work for Anna. Henry is a young homeless teenager who is coming to terms with his sexuality. All of these characters are deeply developed, and there were some I loved and cared for and others who I hated. My favorites were Daisy and Charlie. She’s spunky and sweet and I wanted to take her under my wing. Charlie is such a positive guy, I could definitely take a page from his book. The worst was Enid, she’s greedy and selfish but even though I couldn’t stand her, after her backstory was revealed I could understand why she behaved the way she did.
I LOVED reading a book that was set in my hometown of Phoenix, it was so fun being able to perfectly picture the locations Graber was describing and he absolutely nailed the setting. He also touched on many hot button topics, many that effect people nationally and some that are issues locally. With Dave and Charlie he showed the challenges that a gay couple face daily, with Daisy he shed light on the poor treatment of the elderly in our country. It was awful and heartbreaking to see how she was treated and it was even more sad knowing it’s a reality. Ernie is an undocumented illegal alien and his plight is one I’ve seen so many times in Arizona. Henry is homeless after his parents kick him out after revealing he is gay and this part hit me the hardest. I cannot imagine turning my back on my kids just because they want to be the person they truly are. I felt such strong connections to most of these beautifully crafted characters and was sad to say goodbye.
My one small issue was the ending, it was a bit abrupt for me. I had hoped for more closure with a couple of storylines but I’m hoping maybe there will be a sequel? There was a nice twist in the last part that I didn’t expect, which I always appreciate. I’m seriously impressed that this is Graber’s debut, his writing style is taut and he really writes wonderfully believable dialogue. His knowledge of a breadth of topics is apparent in the quality of his writing and I’m a fan.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Larissa at Claire McKinney PR for my review copy!