Nothing Can Hurt You
A haunting collection of voices touched by the murder of a young college student make up the mesmerizing kaleidoscope of Nicola Maye Goldberg's astounding Nothing Can Hurt You. Goldberg begins with the discovery of Sara Morgan's body in 1997 New York by a woman recently relocated upstate to escape increasingly disturbing mental episodes. Readers are drawn into her traumas, but Goldberg has numerous other perspectives to reveal.
Sara's boyfriend, Blake Campbell, immediately confessed to the crime. He contended he loved Sara and didn't want to kill her, but had a psychotic episode while on acid. His acquittal by reason of temporary insanity ripples through the community and the families changed by the tragedy. Goldberg (Other Women; The Doll Factory) furnishes a stage to many of them, intertwining their stories in an intricate and captivating fashion. Katherine, in a recovery center with Blake, falls in love with him, perhaps even more so when she discovers he's a murderer; Tracy is Blake's prosecutor, whose life is overwhelmed by her sister's rape trauma; a teen girl Sara babysat begins corresponding with Blake in jail; and Sara's half-sister poses as a babysitter to insert herself into Blake's new life.
Based on a true story, Nothing Can Hurt You examines the way people hurt and are hurt by those they love, how trauma and violence change and sometimes attract us, even to those who are statistically most likely to murder us. Each voice is distinct and alluring, punching through the boundaries of good and bad in an unjust world. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review