Right off the bat I must say that Epiphany Strange is one of the best character names I’ve ever come across. Don’t you agree? It’s at once provocative but hopeful. I really dig it.
Kind enough to provide me with a paperback copy of “Epiphany” (which is now highlighted and underlined a plenty!), Keith Vlasak’s novel is nothing short of riveting. Our titular main character here is a brave 19-year-old girl. Making the decision to remove her younger brothers and sisters from an abusive household with two very damaged parents -wait – those last set of words are more punny that I intended. Epiphany’s father is no longer in the picture as he’s murdered by one of his sons whilst raping his daughter. Delightful, but Vlasak is sure to not make this a tale of grit and discomfort. Instead, he uses this really unfortunate set of events as a catalyst for Epiphany to discard the body.
As often happens, the policy find Epiphany’s father’s dismembered body and attribute it to self-defense as it comes to light that the deceased man was indeed abusing his children. Deciding to let it be, the D.A. steps into the situation. However, this D.A. has a special connection to the case as he has a very strong-willed daughter who is friendly with one of Epiphany’s brothers.
What happens then is an interesting take on how dire circumstances can allow families to rebuild trust and re-define roles within their own structure. Every character in Epiphany has something to learn, and Vlasak artfully writes these revelations with wit and candor, not to mention reticence. A recommended read for anyone who likes a bit of hope with their grit, and redemption with their fiction.