The Lookback Window

S. & S. Aug. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781668005873. $26.99. F
DEBUT In January of 2019, lawmakers in New York state passed the landmark Child Victims Act, which lifted the statute of limitations on child sex abuse to give survivors a so-called “lookback window” of one year to sue their abusers, regardless of age or when the crimes occurred. Hertz’s debut poignantly explores the excruciating, double-edged implications of this opportunity for a young New Yorker named Dylan who was abused at the hands of many men while in his early teens. At the beginning of the novel, Dylan is on the cusp of marriage to his boyfriend and with it, the possibility of a more stable life, but the trauma of his abuse has never left him, and his efforts to numb the pain threaten to destroy his future. As Dylan passively follows the cases of other survivors who have stepped forward, he begins to confront his own abuse as he contemplates how to pursue justice in his case.
VERDICT This forceful, necessary novel, which includes graphic descriptions of sexual assault, depicts the often silent suffering and unfathomable effects of sexual abuse. Readers of Garth Greenwell or Eimear McBride will find it well worth diving into.
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