Growing up in suburban New York, Dylan lived through the unfathomable: three years as a victim of sex trafficking at the hands of Vincent, a troubled young man who promised to marry Dylan when he turned eighteen. Years later—long after a police investigation that went nowhere, and after the statute of limitations for the crimes perpetrated against him have run out—the long shadow of Dylan's trauma still looms over the fragile life in the city he's managed to build with his fiancé, Moans, who knows little of Dylan's past. His continued existence depends upon an all-important mantra: To survive, you live through it, but never look back. Then a groundbreaking new law—the Child Victims Act—opens a new way foreword: a one-year window during which Dylan can sue his abusers. But for someone who was trafficked as a child, does money represent justice—does his pain have a price?
Gripping and savagely beautiful ... Not the courtroom narrative of pain and testimony and justice one might expect from this setup. It is more like a journey into hell ... At his best, Hertz sheds the trappings of traditional realism, adopting instead a swerving, almost psychedelic style that mirrors the abrupt and mercurial perceptions of a turbulent mind ... Hertz has managed to tell a story of queer healing with all the narrative force of a thriller and the searing fury of an indictment. It’s an achievement of language, of style, in which the process of finding one’s way back to the world is considered at least in part as an act of learning to 'speak the unspeakable.'
This forceful, necessary novel, which includes graphic descriptions of sexual assault, depicts the often silent suffering and unfathomable effects of sexual abuse. Readers of Garth Greenwell or Eimear McBride will find it well worth diving into.