Reviewed by Carl Delprat
Waiting for You at Midnight
by Vicki Salloum
Moonshine Cove Publishing
ISBN: 978 1 945181 368, July 7 2018, Paperback: 242 pages
Waiting for You at Midnight is an exceptional novel, moving through twelve tortured months of a recently widowed woman’s life. Once again, Vicki Salloum uses New Orleans as her base. This latest story follows along the formula of her previous three novels Candyland, Faulkner & Friends, and A Prayer to Saint Jude, exposing this famous location and a selection of its unfortunate inhabitants.
Waiting for You at Midnight explores New Orleans’ scarred underbelly to meet some of the city’s social misfits. For this occasion it’s a widow named Arabella Joseph who leads us on the excursion. It doesn’t take long to deduce that Vicki is drawing from her own well of suffering, with her own late husband being the stimulus that propels the narrative. This in turn delivers depth and conviction making Salloum’s heroine Arabella feel like living and bleeding character who evokes a strong empathy in the reader. Some times the story becomes surreal, and then surprisingly evolves into the raw and gritty. I found each chapter well paced, and easy to read.
Salloum bravely brings the reader into her fictional psychological and experienced discomfort zone. We follow Arabella into crowded AA meetings, observing frightening declarations, addiction denials and relationship failures. We watch as her broken heart bleeds, and all the while continually hope and pray for Arabella’s redemption. This novel took me back to the many times I’ve contemplated the eventual disconnection of a long and loving partnership. Waiting at Midnight presents the reader with the tragic experience of watching the one you love just shrink away and die. She writes with a boldness that is striking and which clearly reveals the consequences of Arabella’s misjudgement.
Waiting for You at Midnight is a guide for living through or avoiding the eventual train wrecks, loss and trauma human beings experience and how one individual, the protagonist Arabella Joseph, re-aligned her life the best way she could. For this engaging work, Vicki Salloum deserves acclaim.
About the reviewer: Carl Delprat is a prolific storyteller. His home is the Australian coastal city of Newcastle, New South Wales. Find his books at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CarlDelprat