Reviewed by Kimberly Luyckx for Reader Views (1/19)
“Terrible Omens” is Alane Gray’s story of a marriage gone sour. Reconstructed from a journal in which she recorded many of her deepest thoughts and realizations, Alane’s memoir begins when she meets and falls in love with Darren Danky. As fellow chiropractic students, they marry, finish their training and search for perfect jobs. The plot thickens when Alane is faced with her husband’s unusual family dynamics and his destructive lifestyle patterns.
From the very beginning, there are definite signs that point to an abysmal course for their relationship. But Alane is intent on making it work and honoring her marriage vow. Finally, after 15 years of strife and numerous threats to leave, she is released from this stormy union.
Although the subject matter is ordinary, albeit violent at times, Gray’s writing style is unique. She uses a blend of romantic comedy and zombie apocalypse thriller to stage her stories of married life. The level of reality and humor she employs certainly is entertaining.
Yet, I did find myself wondering about a couple of things in the course of reading this work. For instance, why would Alane stay so long in the relationship? She is presented as a strong woman with a grounded and supportive family base. Yet, she tolerates her husband and his mother’s repeated humiliation and abuse. The cyclical dilemma of “should I stay, or should I leave” appears out of character.
And, why does she keep seeing ghosts? Her claims of witnessing a blue-clouded image and a gnome are unexplained and perplexing. Is there something more to her story than is revealed? Or, is there a deep psychological issue that is troubling her on top of an excruciating marriage? Suffice it to say, I did receive some of these answers at the very end, proving that truth is stranger than fiction.
Initial impressions may give the appearance that “Terrible Omens” is a futuristic thriller, its neon title a warning of imminent danger. But this is a memoir of the past that reflects on a marriage gone dreadfully wrong. Author, Alane Gray points to the fact that she noticed the flashing lights from the beginning but just ignored them. This is a good book for someone who may be disregarding their own red flags and suffering in a bad relationship. Gray’s catastrophic story might just hit home and grant someone else a clearer perspective to move on before it’s too late.