Vacuum in the Dark (Scribner, 2019)

Cleaning lady Mona lives in Taos, New Mexico. Here, Mona’s previous lives materialize through her clients.

… He made her feel desperate, horny, and deranged. …
“You make me feel … Spanish,” she said. …
“I love your maybe-Spanish eyes,” he said …

“… I swear she [Shiori] tasted like ginger and lychee.”

“I paid the man seventy dollars to make a recording of himself reading my toast in an Indian accent … .” … “It’s supposed to be funny,” Mona said, and shrugged.

I didn’t know racism was funny and edgy.

Vacuum in the Dark, with its few laughable moments, falls short of framing its excessively eccentric characters.


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