News Flash: Relationships are complicated. There's no secret formula that can assure a successful partnership (though you wouldn't know it from the masses of self-help books promising otherwise), and there certainly isn't a magic equation that makes divorces any easier. But on the upside, these complexities provide endless fodder for writers. In The Astral
, the central plot is formed by a relationship teetering on the precipice of divorce. Main characters Harry and Luz Quirk - together more than twenty years, more or less happily - are preparing to pack it in. They have two children together: Karina, a lesbian "freegan" whose new role is to play carrier pigeon between her feuding parents, and Hector, who is in training to become the Messiah of a religious cult. Not quite the average family by any means, though they definitely capture the reader's interest.
Beyond the Book
In The Astral
, the Quirk's daughter Karina is a practicing "freegan" - a term that comes from a fusion of the words "free" and "vegan" (although not all freegans are vegans) - and as such, she chooses to eschew conventional consumerism.
Often referred to as "dumpster divers," freegans generally believe that western society throws away too many useable goods - including food - and they consciously limit their participation in the current, profit-driven economic system. This wasteful mentality, they explain, increases the need for more landfills, leaches pollution into ground water, and threatens an already compromised...