Meredith Miller, Little Wrecks (2017)

Little Wrecks is set in Long Island in 1979 and features three young women’s journey through sexual trauma to transcendence.  Two characters discuss the Divine Comedy in the opening sequence and this discussion is revisited towards the close.  The novel is structured in three sections/canticles, titled “Resistance,”  “Reality” and “Resurrection.”  Each of these ends with the word stars. It features a character named Virgil (Mackie) who appears and exits mysteriously and is perhaps not entirely corporeal.  Virgil Mackie acts as a kind of guide for one of the central characters.  Virgil and Ruth have, early on, something like that conversation in which Virgil points out that the poet’s body stops the light and we note that Virgil’s does not. The final passage of the novel echoes language found towards the close of both Purgatorio and Paradiso – the santissima onda, etc. It’s final sentence is “There is a place for her, between the sun and the other stars” so that it ends with Dante’s words.    –Meredith Miller

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