Freak Parade is a tour de force, a literary erotic novel that doesn’t shy away from the grittier realities of human nature and survival in the city.
Our protagonist, Eugenia Sharpe, used to be a famous singer, but she’s hit rock bottom. As the novel opens she has nothing. She’s standing in the ruins of a relationship to her music producer, a man who she has just discovered has been seeing other women on the side.
Returning to her old friends and the street scene, Eugenia (Genie) has to face up to how much she has lost – both in terms of her recent relationship and the glitzy lifestyle it afforded her, and what she walked away from before that time. But before Genie can begin to pull herself up from rock bottom, she digs herself that little bit deeper down the spiral, because that’s what we do when we’re hurt and trying to find our way.
As I was reading this novel I thought to myself: this is the real Sex and the City. I felt as if I had lived Genie’s tough days in New York, because the streets and the people were so real and vivid in my senses. I wanted Genie to survive, to pull through and shine like the brightest star again, and she does, but there's no triumph for Genie without initial hardship.
Marilyn Jaye Lewis is one of the few writers who can pull off this type of novel. As an author she doesn’t shy away from issues of gender and sexuality, the realities of abuse, racism and poverty. She shows us the seedy underbelly of the city as well as its luxurious and privileged side.
The book is intensely erotic with scorching sex scenes. It’s shocking and raw in places. It’s also warm and funny and sad and deeply emotional. It’s about destruction and redemption, friendship and desire, love and hate, pain and pleasure. It's also a powerful romance. All of these things make Freak Parade an unforgettable read.
(reviewed 40 days after purchase)