, 1999 - Fiction
- 751 pages
In this novel the author weaves a tale of madness, suspense, love, and terror from a startling and true-life psychological condition: autophobia, fear of oneself. Martie Rhodes is a young wife, a successful video game designer, and a compassionate woman who takes her agoraphobic friend, Susan, to therapy sessions. Susan is so afraid of leaving her apartment that even these trips to the doctor's office become ordeals for both women, but with each trip a deeper emotional bond forms between them. Then one morning Martie experiences a sudden and inexplicable fear of her own, a fleeting but disquieting terror of her own shadow. The episode is over so quickly it leaves her shaken but amused. The amusement is short-lived. For as she is about to check her makeup, she realizes that she is terrified to look in the mirror and confront the reflection of her own face. As the episodes of this traumatic condition-- autophobia--build, the lives of Martie and her husband, Dustin, change drastically. Desperate to discover the reasons for his wife's sudden and seemingly inevitable descent into mental chaos, Dusty takes Martie to the renowned therapist who has been treating Susan, and tries to reconstruct the events of recent months in a frantic search for clues. As he comes closer to the shocking truth, Dusty finds himself afflicted with a condition even more bizarre and fearsome than Martie's. This is novel of the human mind's capacity to torment and destroy itself. In it the author has created a story not only of gripping fear but also of the power of love and friendship.