New novel offers gripping tale of codependence

Sarah Terez Rosenblum and "Herself When She's Missing" book coverBY MERRYN JOHNS

Sarah Terez Rosenblum has written an edgy, original, non-genre, and yet page-turning novel that will resonate with any lesbian who has fallen victim to a crush on a charismatic woman, attainable or otherwise. The seemingly together Andrea falls for the Shane-esque Jordan and together they share a passion for the lesbian-fronted band Cry Wolf. The novel takes the reader into a labyrinth of she said/she said as their relationship ignites, catches fire, and goes down in flames, revealing many bittersweet truths about lesbian love and codependence along the way. We caught up with Rosenblum to talk about her inspiration for this heartrending and thought-provoking novel.

“Herself When She’s Missing” touches on a subject unusual in fiction but quite familiar territory in lesbian life: same-sex obsessive love. What was the inspiration for the story?

Ideas often come to me when I’m running or taking a spin class; in touch with my body, in a state of flow. I was walking home from the gym in April of 2008 when the phrase “The Criminal Mastermind loves reality television” popped into my head. When I sat down to write, I realized the phrase connected to an idea I’d been mulling: We’ve all had the experience of watching a friend make a misguided or dangerous romantic choice, someone otherwise intelligent who becomes enmeshed at the expense of her own life and goals. I was interested in exploring what might bind a person to an apparently dysfunctional relationship, but from the point of view of someone relatively levelheaded, in this case my protagonist, Andrea. Once I’d made that decision, the question became: If Andrea is so canny, and her love interest, Jordan, seems so obviously untrustworthy, what’s the draw? Is Andrea herself perhaps not as together as she thinks? And if so, can we believe her version of events?

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