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Iodine

by

Iodine Cover

 

Staff Pick

Haven Kimmel's gorgeous fourth novel is disturbing and brilliant in equal measure. Iodine is unlike any book I've ever read; woven through with psychoanalyses, dreams, hallucinations, and mythology, you are never sure which version of our narrator's reality, if any, to trust. Trace Pennington is a bizarre, endearing, and enveloping character, and Iodine is Kimmel's most ambitious book yet.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

This novel explores the dark and terrifying world of delusion and madness. Kimmel uses an unreliable narrator to chaotic, shocking, and surreal effect. While Trace descends into madness, the reader struggles to untangle the threads of this story, but is rewarded by prose that is achingly beautiful, intelligent, lush, and challenging. Iodine is an amazing, fantastic, whirlwind of a character study, with an explosive ending. An absolutely stunning five-star read!
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Iodine, the fourth novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Haven Kimmel, tells the terrifying story of a young woman emerging from layers of delusion, fantasy, and lies.

Brilliant, unconventional college senior Trace Pennington has eked out an impoverished, solitary, but highly functional existence in the years since she ran away from her abusive home. But when Trace finds love with a much older man, her life is upended and she's forced to face herself and her past. After recovering a horrific, long-suppressed memory, she discovers that much of her present-day life is a carefully constructed delusion. With equal parts genius and psychosis, Trace copes with the fallout from a brutal, bizarre childhood in a heart-stopping story that explores both the terror and wonder of mental illness.

Kimmel elevates the notion of the unreliable narrator to thrilling dimensions, parceling out Trace's strange, dark story in mesmerizing bits that obscure as much as they reveal, and keep the reader guessing until the end. In Iodine, Kimmel makes an exciting foray into psychological gothic territory, and her radiant imagination and lyrical prose are on full display here. This unique portrait of the emotional effects of trauma is tantalizing, shocking, and ultimately hopeful.

Synopsis:

The fourth novel by New York Times-bestselling author Kimmel tells the terrifying story of a young woman who, after recovering a horrific, long-suppressed memory, discovers that much of her present-day life is a carefully constructed delusion.

Synopsis:

Haven Kimmel, the #1 New York Times bestselling author, has long attracted legions of fans for her insightful, humane portraits of outsiders struggling to find their place in the world. In Iodine, her fourth novel, Kimmel once again draws on her exceptional powers of observation and empathy, but this time she makes an exhilarating foray into psychological gothic territory with the electrifying story of a young woman emerging from layers of delusion, fantasy, and lies. With her astounding intelligence, fierce independence, and otherworldly lavender eyes, college senior Trace Pennington makes an indelible impression even as questions about her past and her true identity hover over every page.

From her earliest years, Trace turned away from her abusive mother toward her loving father. Within the twisty logic of abuse, her desperate love for him took on a romantic cast that persists to this day, though she's had no contact with her family since she ran away from home years ago. Alone but for her beloved dog, she's eked out an impoverished but functional existence, living in an abandoned house, putting herself through college, and astonishing her teachers with her genius and erudition. What they don't know is that she leads a double life: thanks to forged documents, at school she is Ianthe Covington, a young woman with no past.

Trace's singular life is upended when she and her literature professor fall in love. She tells him nothing about her life, and as it becomes apparent that he has his own dark secrets, she's forced to face herself and her past. After recovering a horrific, long-suppressed memory, Trace finally copes with the fallout from her brutal, bizarre childhood. Kimmel parcels out Trace's strange, dark story in mesmerizing bits that obscure as much as they reveal, and keep the reader guessing until the end.

With Kimmel's radiant imagination, lyrical prose, and vision of a bleak and fertile Midwest on full display, Iodine is a frightening and marvelous tale of life at the outer extremes of human experience. This unique portrait of the psychological effects of trauma is tantalizing, shocking, and ultimately hopeful.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Two Dogs
Chapter Two: Caduceus
Chapter Three: Pluto
Chapter Four: Oneirocritica
Chapter Five: Puella Aeterna
Chapter Six: Revenants
Chapter Seven: Nekyia
Chapter Eight: Kerberos
Chapter Mine: Eros
Chapter Ten: Familiaris
Chapter Eleven: Hekate
Acknowledgments

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

steersbylitning, November 20, 2008 (view all comments by steersbylitning)
A stunning work, beautifully written. Kimmel gets inside the head of her main character, and lets us come along for the ride as she becomes aware of some very disturbing things that occurred during her childhood that inform the entire course of her life. It's not often that a book I read stays with me like this one.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
anokaberry, August 9, 2008 (view all comments by anokaberry)
Stunning. Kimmel reaches in this one and opens doors on other worlds. The characters are complex, the plot line unravels -- the reader (I was) is bound and shocked by Trace's reality and Ianthe's complicity.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
Denise Morland, August 6, 2008 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
Haven Kimmel's lastest book, Iodine, is a sharp, gripping read! It is the story of Trace, a young college student, who is slowly going mad. Other books I have read on the subject of madness left me mostly confused and with no other strong emotion. Iodine is truly terrifying as it follows every twist of Trace's life. I felt like I was right there with her trying to make sense of a world slowly losing focus. I was breathless waitng for the end which came with an explosive and shocking surprise. Don't expect the redemptive ending of Kimmel's "Solace of Leaving Early". This is a seering look at madness.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(8 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416572848
Author:
Kimmel, Haven
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychic trauma
Subject:
Adult child abuse victims
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
August 2008
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
223
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Iodine Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.98 In Stock
Product details 223 pages Free Press - English 9781416572848 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Haven Kimmel's gorgeous fourth novel is disturbing and brilliant in equal measure. Iodine is unlike any book I've ever read; woven through with psychoanalyses, dreams, hallucinations, and mythology, you are never sure which version of our narrator's reality, if any, to trust. Trace Pennington is a bizarre, endearing, and enveloping character, and Iodine is Kimmel's most ambitious book yet.

"Staff Pick" by ,

This novel explores the dark and terrifying world of delusion and madness. Kimmel uses an unreliable narrator to chaotic, shocking, and surreal effect. While Trace descends into madness, the reader struggles to untangle the threads of this story, but is rewarded by prose that is achingly beautiful, intelligent, lush, and challenging. Iodine is an amazing, fantastic, whirlwind of a character study, with an explosive ending. An absolutely stunning five-star read!

"Synopsis" by , The fourth novel by New York Times-bestselling author Kimmel tells the terrifying story of a young woman who, after recovering a horrific, long-suppressed memory, discovers that much of her present-day life is a carefully constructed delusion.
"Synopsis" by , Haven Kimmel, the #1 New York Times bestselling author, has long attracted legions of fans for her insightful, humane portraits of outsiders struggling to find their place in the world. In Iodine, her fourth novel, Kimmel once again draws on her exceptional powers of observation and empathy, but this time she makes an exhilarating foray into psychological gothic territory with the electrifying story of a young woman emerging from layers of delusion, fantasy, and lies. With her astounding intelligence, fierce independence, and otherworldly lavender eyes, college senior Trace Pennington makes an indelible impression even as questions about her past and her true identity hover over every page.

From her earliest years, Trace turned away from her abusive mother toward her loving father. Within the twisty logic of abuse, her desperate love for him took on a romantic cast that persists to this day, though she's had no contact with her family since she ran away from home years ago. Alone but for her beloved dog, she's eked out an impoverished but functional existence, living in an abandoned house, putting herself through college, and astonishing her teachers with her genius and erudition. What they don't know is that she leads a double life: thanks to forged documents, at school she is Ianthe Covington, a young woman with no past.

Trace's singular life is upended when she and her literature professor fall in love. She tells him nothing about her life, and as it becomes apparent that he has his own dark secrets, she's forced to face herself and her past. After recovering a horrific, long-suppressed memory, Trace finally copes with the fallout from her brutal, bizarre childhood. Kimmel parcels out Trace's strange, dark story in mesmerizing bits that obscure as much as they reveal, and keep the reader guessing until the end.

With Kimmel's radiant imagination, lyrical prose, and vision of a bleak and fertile Midwest on full display, Iodine is a frightening and marvelous tale of life at the outer extremes of human experience. This unique portrait of the psychological effects of trauma is tantalizing, shocking, and ultimately hopeful.

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