all night pharmacy

Read All Night Pharmacy by Ruth Madievsky

On the night of her high school graduation, a young woman follows her older sister Debbie to Salvation, a Los Angeles bar patronized by energy healers, aspiring actors, and all-around misfits. After the two share a bag of unidentified pills, the evening turns into a haze of sensual and risky interactions—nothing unusual for two sisters bound in an incredibly toxic relationship. Our unnamed narrator has always been under the spell of the alluring and rebellious Debbie and, despite her own hesitations, she has always said yes to nights like these. That is, until Debbie disappears.

Falling deeper into the life she cultivated with her sister, our narrator gets a job as an emergency room secretary where she steals pills to sell on the side. Cue Sasha, a Jewish refugee from the former Soviet Union who arrives at the hospital claiming to be a psychic tasked with acting as the narrator’s spiritual guide. The nature of this relationship evolves and blurs, a kaleidoscope of friendship, sex, mysticism, and ambiguous power dynamics.

This book was not what I wanted to read and it took me a while to get into it. But once I had, oh boy!

New Year’s came and went with all the fanfare of a menstrual cycle.

This novel was a wild ride. I don’t know what it is with me reading about toxic relationships (between sisters for this one) and drug consumption all the time these days, but if there’s one book that absolutely nailed the topic, it’s this one.

A harsh read, that starts weirdly and then finds its rhythm.

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