On the jacket:
Following her faux fathers suicide, Zephyrs life unravels into a shapeless tapestry woven in the ethanol-hand of her grandfather, Don an amoral, sensual, manipulative bastard whos too clever for heaven and too deranged for hell. An alcoholic extraordinaire for whom the clock always struck quarter past rum for whom it was always just about the libidinous moment, a man with imperial swagger and disco-ball eyes, the super king of a vast empire of solitude and permanent resident of his daughters wounded heart, Don's actions shatter Zefs past into fragments of warring memories. Armed with only her blade of tears, she carves her way through a quagmire of dark, atavistic forces.
A mother daughter bond formed in the afterlife, memories stored in Ziploc bags and the horrific struggle to piece together a past that's been through the shredder A Cool, Dark Place is all of these plus the unsettling realization that ones life was ghost-written by two drunks.
There are very few books which stun you to the core. Stun you with it's dark tale, pain and agony slicing through your soul. Reading this book, rather, finishing it, was difficult - because of the emotional roller-coaster it involved.
Zef, her mother and her grandfather Don, who was omnipresent throughout the story and a host of other characters who come and go. The story begins when Zef's father dies and her mother cannot cope with the trauma of losing her biggest love and support. Soon afterwards, her mother confesses to Zef that the man she is grieving for is not her father. And then, that they were never married. Now unfolds the story of a young girl, Zef's mother, all of 14 and how she faced love, betrayal and survival.
With Zef, the reader also travels her mother's life from then to now. At times, I felt, what I was reading is unbelievable! Can this really happen! I was so zapped. Though the story is about Zef and her parents, the character to watch out for is her grandfather. He crops in everywhere and is totally psychotic.
Dravid writes beautifully. I use this adjective because that's what she has done with a dark story - made it beautiful. This being the author's first book, maybe it is too early to compare, but A Cool, Dark Place reminded me faintly of Murakami's books. I don't need to say, it came as quite a wonder that this is Dravid's first book.
[This is a personal read.]