Jennifer Stevenson’s Trash Sex Magic

C0BF7D22-218A-4D90-A36F-837B80C28076Wes Unruh penned this review.

“‘Giddover here,’ he said, ‘don’t you know trouble’s coming? Gummit inspectors! Lightning! The chaos of an accumulation of unmediated vital waveforms!'” – p.96

A storm’s a’brewing, the women restless, the men conflicted, and there are the strangest foxes you’ve ever seen running wild along the bucking river. Trash Sex Magic isn’t just a lurid, sexually charged magical romp. Complex characters drive an organic plot, elegantly woven of mythic resonance and familial metaphors.

Raedawn and her mother Gelia Somershoe are the unlikely matriarchs of a make-shift family living scattered amidst the trailers and woods of Berne, Illinois along the Fox River. There’s Willy and Davy, and King just back from the service, the boys next door raised by Rae and Gelia’s one-time lover Uncle Cracker and Gelia’s live-in boyfriend Ernest Brown ever since their parents wandered off. There’s the twins too, Mink and Ink, usually covered in mud and rarely dressed, supposedly Uncle Cracker’s kids although he’s not entirely sure. Raedawn has just lost her man, but that doesn’t stop her from being the only one with a job.

At its heart, this a tale about a tree and it’s place in the lives of this eclectic family. When Atlas Properties arrives in the vacant lot across the road, intending to build Foxe Parke Townhouses, they tear down the tree, seeking to building riverfront townhouses in it’s wake. Instead, the developers find themselves entangled in a magical quagmire of sex and vegetation, especially crucial to one Alexander Caebeau, a skilled bucketloader who catches the eye of Raedawn.

Jennifer Stevenson’s sparkling wit comes through in wordplay and metaphor, and her insight and unwavering attention to detail creates a prose as marvelous as the plot while celebrating Gaia and the passionate and transcendental energy of Eros, and it does so with a profound honesty. Imagine Anne Rice with a sense of humor, or a Christopher Moore novel re-written by Anais Nin. If you are looking for a multi-layered treatise on Goddess archetypes, if you’re looking for a fantasy that isn’t quite dark, isn’t quite urban, or if you’re just looking for a funny, well-written trashy novel, this book is definately for you. Surreal, and full of delightful weirdness, this has quickly become my most-recommended book of the year.

(Small Beer Press, 2004)

About Diverse Voices

Diverse Voices is our catch-all for writers and other staffers who did but a few reviews or other writings for us. They are credited at the beginning of the actual writing if we know who they are which we don’t always.

It also includes material by writers that first appeared in the Sleeping Hedgehog, our in-house newsletter for staff and readers here. Some material is drawn from Folk Tales, Mostly Folk and Roots & Branches, three other publications we’ve done.