Kerry Cohen was first aware of her power over men at the age of eleven. Thereupon she progressed from kissing to petting to oral sex and an increasing promiscuity.
Kerry parents went through a divorce and then her mother decides to leave to pursue a medical education in the Philippines. Kerry feels abandoned by both her mother and father. She is left with her father who does not seem to care or even to know how to parent. He often joined her friends in smoking a joint or even in providing the pot. He makes some very poor judgments. Her sister was handling the situation equally badly by isolating herself, leaving Kerry confused and seeking attention.
Attention is sought in the form of boys who show her they need her body. Kerry equates this with love, not knowing what real love is. Kerry gets more and more desperate for the attention and so-called 'love' it gives to her. Kerry tries so desperately to have a relationship but ends up dynamiting it by her neediness.
Kerry has been with so many partners she can neither recall all their names or even remember the exact number of encounters. She just wants to fill the emptiness of her soul.
Kerry realizes she needs help and seeks among other things, therapy. She finally realizes that she needs to love herself and to allow others to love her. I was appalled by her father's total carelessness in his parenting skills and her mother's total selfishness. This book shows that a parent's needs really must be secondary to the child's needs in order for that child to grow up to be a fully functioning adult.
It is a tribute to Kerry's strong will that she ended up in a loving and fulfilling relationship
First Line: "In the darkness, he touches me, his long strong fingers movong across the surface of my skin, his breath hot and real near my ear."