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‘Something bad happened, but try as I might, I couldn’t pull the memories to the surface. A concrete block of shame and regret settled over my chest and tears rolled down my cheeks. The memories were gone, but the blackout of the night before brought me no comfort.’

Blackout by Olivia Evans had a sombre tone with layers of complex human emotion. In the face of the #metoo campaign, this story is so relevant and important. We do not always know the face of the one who hurt us which intensifies the psychological trauma and fear of the unknown. Wanting to prevent further unbearable pain, barriers are built to keep the necessary distance. Daily tasks are on autopilot and isolation becomes a defence mechanism. The black of the dark becomes what haunts as well as the hiding place of comfort.

“We all have dark places, honey. We just have to be smart enough to recognize the power of the stars. Find your star, darkness doesn’t stand a chance against that kind of light.”

This story is so well written; it captures the devastation, the confusion and the utter fear and heartbreak that walks hand in hand when a horrific event occurs, robbing you of all control and self-confidence. It depicts the tiny flayed threads which we cling onto in order to subconsciously still feel tethered to life, to normality.

‘I don’t know how they get out of bed in the morning. I don’t know how they can live with that kind of pain.’
“We’re more than a hashtag.”

Lonna is existing but in a black hole of uncertainty and darkness. Relationships do not exist with zero risks of being hurt, yet taking a chance on forming bonds with strangers, she unknowingly embarks on a journey of healing, support and reckoning. However, until the faceless man is unmasked and the fear of the unknown is truly gone, trust and living are off the table. It’s emotionally and physically draining being another statistic in life. Unable to share her secret, she finds relief in listening, helping and supporting those around her whilst her own walls are closing in on her, robbing her of light.

“I feel like I know everything and absolutely nothing about him. I want him to tell me what happened for him to end up at our meetings, but I’m not willing to tell him my story. I’m a hypocrite.”

Gavin is keeping secrets. A man in a sea of women with one thing in common, he is drawn to Lonna, as Lonna is drawn to him. Both are walking the line between personal breakdown and survival. Yet an immediate bond is formed and in each other, they find a companion on the long road of healing. We felt everything Olivia Evans intended us to feel. And whilst we saw the main twist coming, it was still the emotional revelation which we needed and we felt the double-sided edge of closure, alongside Lonna.

“I don’t want to remember you as the girl who broke my heart.”
 “I have no intention of being the girl who broke your heart. If I’m being honest, I want to be the exact opposite. I want to be the girl who stole it.”

 

Synopsis

There is a gaping hole in the middle of Lonna’s memories of the worst night of her life. Her body told her how it ended, but the details leading up to her lying hurt and sobbing on the bathroom floor have been lost.

How do you move forward when you’re not sure what you have to move on from?

How do you get your life back on track when you don’t know what happened to send it off the rails?

She makes a connection in the unlikeliest of places. Their bond is immediate—their pain similar and, at the same time, vastly different. As they work independently to recover from invisible wounds they are not ready to share with each other, they find their path to healing may leave a fiery trail across the landscape of what used to be their lives.

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