Chemiluminescence means “the emission of light during a chemical reaction.”
It is also the title of the unique new novel by L.A. West.
Chemiluminescence is centred around two sets of women, one middle aged, Anna and Helen, the other two teenage girls, Dianne and Tracette.
Helen and Anna meet at an outpatient clinic. What starts out as two women drawn into a world that both revolves around and isolates them slowly turns into their private belief that each holds the key to the other’s survival.
Dianne is a lonely girl just beginning high school who meets the charismatic Tracette, a girl that is beautiful, who should be popular but isn’t due to a wild streak others sense in her.
But what begins as a “crush” quickly becomes the story of who Dianne is as she is thrust into a world she barely understands as she tries to deal with the expectations that are imposed on her, from the scrutiny of boys to the devastating affect that self-awareness can produce especially when Tracette ultimately, but not unexpectedly, betrays her
For the people who populate the book this means knowing their flaws are forever illuminated and forgiveness is just another word.