This contemporary novella applies a very ancient archetypal element to modern themes and characters to interesting effect. Two women, desperate in their own ways, meet in an internet chatroom devoted to people considering suicide and wanting a partner to share in their final moments. The tale purports to show what brought each of the two to that desperate decision and then tail them as they attempt to follow through on their plans. Others in their lives have different ideas and aim to scuttle the suicidal journey. One of those “others” is a deity.
The god portrayed is not the typical of the modern era. He is a throwback to the raping, vengeful cruel gods of ancient Greek myth. Lori, one of the 2 women, just wants out of her abusive relationship with the possessive, rape-y god that claims her for his own. The driver of her tale is her relationship with her mother who doesn’t believe Lori’s claims and would rather shuttle Lori off to psychiatric hospitals every few months, rather than get to the root of her ongoing problems and torments.
Ellie’s problems are more internalized. Not only does she not love her complacent, devout husband, but she’s a closeted lesbian full of self-hatred in large part due to the Christian faith she adheres to. She sees suicide as her only escape and no less damning that what she’s already brought on herself.
Two women, not being supported and protected by the families and communities they are a part of, plan a dual suicide with the ultimate goal of freedom from their torment. The god, being an omniscient god, is many steps ahead of them and sends his monstrous angelic minions to intervene . . .