Last week, I had the privilege to have a conversation with writer Odessa Rose. She is the author of several, critically acclaimed works of fiction. One of them is In The Mirror, which was at the center of our conversation. It tells the story of a young therapist named Jasmine Falls who defies her raison d’être to go against the acceptable norm. She falls in love with Daniel Roberts, a married man as well as a community organizer. Understandably, her parents condemn the relationship; so too is Candy, Jasmine’s best friend “who sees Jasmine’s love for Daniel as selfish, despicable, and just downright dumb.”
From the get-go, Odessa gets the reader on the hook with her descriptive, carefully worded narrative. At least, that was how I saw it. It took me just three days to wolf down the novel. “Do you think love is so powerful to force someone, beyond reason, to go for it?”
“I think so,” she said with a big smile. “Especially where Jasmine is concerned. Because of her age. She wants [to have] what everybody that’s around her has…. She wants what her mother and father have. She wants what’s her best friend has. She’s getting up in her forties….She’s at a vulnerable point in her life,” she added.
Of course, at forty, an unmarried woman who has been dreaming of the “rosy” and dignifying life in the wedlock and who has yet to find Mr. Right, could easily miscalculate and fall victim to her own inherit or self-inflicting crisis. The protagonist, Jasmine Falls, is one of those women, utterly desperate to settle down, even if it means to destroy someone else’s marriage.
Odessa crafts Jasmine this way to remind us how vulnerable we can be when under the spell of love beyond reason. “But unlike a more infamous other woman, Jasmine’s goal is not to knock off Daniel’s wife or make goulash out of the family pet,” Odessa writes. As in most women in her predicament, her only goal is to “become a fly on the wall of her lover’s life so she can bear witness to the fact that Daniel is in love with her, not the woman he’s been married to for the past thirteen years.” A desperate quest to have it all.
I admire Odessa’s show-don’t-tell style of writing—a style that traps a reader’s mind and holds it there until the very last word.
Odessa Rose is also the author of some other great novels. One of them is “Water in a Broken Glass,” which was made into a feature film. The film was premiered in 2015 at the Senator Theater in Baltimore to a sold-out audience.
You can watch the video below.
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