Meet Me in the In-Between

Novelist (Summer of the Bear) and journalist Bella Pollen's memoir opens with her believing she's being visited by an incubus, a demon intent on having sex with her at the awful hour of 4 a.m. Writer's block quickly follows, and Pollen realizes that in order to get rid of her nighttime visitor and move on, she must reexamine her past, beginning with her childhood.

Humorous, self-deprecating and filled with odd moments one might expect from a person who believes she was haunted, Meet Me in the In-Between takes readers into Pollen's formative years, when she tried to get kidnapped by an old man in Central Park and her father kept an alcoholic parrot. She quickly moves on to her early marriage and children with an Italian art dealer, and the extended family that could be taken from the Godfather movies. Other adventures include a trip with women friends in the wilderness of the American West, a second marriage and more children, and the fondness she shared with her father for going to the movies during the day. She also indulges an intense desire to cross and recross the border between Mexico and the U.S., using several illegal methods and befriending smugglers obsessed with Pink Floyd. Carefully blended with these escapades are Pollen's reflections on motherhood, family and her fear of confinement and entrapment. The effect leaves readers wondering: What comes next for this woman willing to risk so much to avoid banality? --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

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