Ask a Bookseller: ‘I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness’

The cover of a book
“I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness,” by Claire Vaye Watkins
Penguin Random House

Stef Schmidt of Water Street Books in Exeter, N.H., recommends a novel whose title is sure to draw some curious attention on the shelves. It's called “I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness,” by Claire Vaye Watkins.

The unnamed narrator, armed with little more than her purse and a breast pump, leaves her husband and newborn daughter for a speaking engagement in Reno. Once there, she decides not to go home.

What follows, Schmidt says, is a wild journey through the Mojave Desert where the narrator grew up. As she questions her decisions and her domesticated life, her story ties in with her parents' stories, their choice to live off the grid, and her father's previous involvement with Charles Manson's cult.

"The writing is wonderful," says Schmidt. "The voice is is so electric and you love her and you're also like, 'What are you doing with your life?' I couldn't put it down."

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