I'm going to run out of adjectives to describe this book before I run out of review, but here goes. This is the kind of book that totally captures your imagination. Trevor kept me up all night because I had to see if he could get to his demons before they destroyed him completely. His demons, being alcohol, drugs--anything to help keep the terrifying emotions he keeps buried from surfacing.
This is the story of the pain of addiction--it's a story of what it means to be human. Trevor is the son of an abusive, alcoholic father, and a mother who tries her best to protect her son, and finally dies of cancer early in her son's life. Ryan Winfield gives the reader an up-close-and-person view of what happens when we bury pain so deep that even we can't see it. We can feel something, like the effects of a body in space on a planet that we can't see. We see the planet's wobble so we know something's there, but it's invisible to our eyes because it's too far away.
Trevor's pain so consumes his life until it takes more, and more of any numbing substance to keep it pushed down and out of sight. Fired as a money-manager because of risky behavior with money and his health, Trevor seemingly hits bottom when he nearly dies of an over-dose in a hot tub. After a stint in rehab, paid for by his girl-friend's mother, Trevor leaves still not knowing what his pain is, so of course he finds it all over again. This time he gets a job with a billionaire fund manager who uses Trevor again, only this time in a larger way that finally shows Trevor where bottom is.
Winfield does an excellent job of showing how what we don't bring out of the depths of our subconscious can destroy us, but he does it without any preaching. He does it in a stark and honest way that has to hit home for anyone who's ever used anything to bury a hurt from the past. I love the way Winfield uses his character's car to parallel what's happening to Trevor himself. Just as Trevor was given the gift of his body from his mother, so too was he given the gift of a Porsche. Trevor lives his car at times and even as he has to sell it to live, and then has it taken from him by Paul, the car represents Trevor's body. Life bangs it up, but there are always people to help mend the car, and Trevor himself when he lets them.
This is a brilliant debut from an exciting new author and I'll be waiting anxiously for his next work, though I have no idea how he's going to top South of Bixby Bridge.