“Everyone knows everyone. No, everyone is *** related!” says a character in Night Sounds, Pam Young’s novel of dysfunctional relationships. Samantha finally leaves her abusive husband, seeking comfort among former room-mates all struggling with problems of their own. Claire files for divorce but wishes her marriage could be saved. Michael protects and guides but doesn’t commit. Mollie betrays. Meanwhile Xavier haunts, Susan stalks, and assorted students run into problems of their own.
The confusion of Samantha’s long slow trek into darkness and despair is mirrored in the writing, and the author’s experience as a psychotherapist is clear from the complex musings of internal dialog. An intricate plot with multiply-intersecting life-lines builds slowly to choreographed scenes of fight or flight in an exciting conclusion. And a deep thread of sympathy offers the reader welcome relief.
Not a story for someone seeking a quick read or an easily followed tale, Night Sounds takes those sounds of despair and replaces them with sweeter music on the air. A long story, it takes a long hard journey with cruel coincidence for signposts and broken characters as guides, but offers healing in the end.
Disclosure: I received a free eARC of this novel from Women’s Literary Café in exchange for an honest review.