So many times, I’ve received questions, comments, even criticism of my use of everything happens for a reason as a recurring theme in “Touch,” and reasonably so.
"Touch" is my earnest attempt at a thought-provoking novel and, based on the feedback I’ve received thus far, it achieves that goal. It's an unsettling exploration through the intricacies of fate, trauma, violence, and crime. One theme reverberates through the narrative: everything happens for a reason. Yet, how one might interpret those words is a profound and varied experience.
Some readers find solace in this idea that maybe everything does happen for a reason; a glimmer of hope that even in the darkest moments, there might be purpose and meaning waiting to unfold.
However, the phrase splits readers. For some, plunging wholeheartedly into the idea that everything happens for a reason is comforting. It's the notion that even in the darkest moments, there's some cosmic order at play. Maybe, just maybe, those heart-wrenching experiences are steppingstones toward personal growth and a greater purpose.
On the other hand, there are those who argue that slapping a reason on suffering oversimplifies the complex intricacies of human behavior. It's like trying to fit a giant jigsaw puzzle piece into the wrong spot—doesn't quite work. Plus, there's a worry that saying everything happens for a reason might unintentionally put the blame on the victims. Like, as if they signed up for their suffering as part of some grand plan.
As I read through the diverse reactions to "Touch," I can appreciate both of these perspectives. Some resonate with characters who find strength and purpose in the face of adversity. It's like, "Yeah, life threw a curveball, but check out how I'm hitting it out of the park." Others empathize with those who side-eye the universe, questioning the fairness of their circumstances in a world that seems a bit too indifferent.
"Touch" doesn't tiptoe around the grim realities that some are unfortunately faced with. It invites readers to confront the uncomfortable, to meet characters navigating through the aftermath of harrowing experiences. Trauma is presented in all its messy complexity, forcing us to grapple with its profound impacts on those affected.
If reading “Touch” brings you a sense of discomfort, that’s okay. If it encourages you to take on a new kindness when interacting with others whose circumstances you might not know, that’s okay. If it brings you to learn more about the ongoing issues of human trafficking and exploitation, that’s okay. All reactions to “Touch” are okay.
Aside from shedding light on a prevalent issue, my ongoing goal for "Touch" is to serve as a catalyst for discussions about the human experience and our shared endeavor to comprehend the complexities of life. The narrative explores how stories, even fictional ones, shape our understanding and coping mechanisms in the face of life's harshest, most unexpected blows.
If nothing else, my hope is that you gain a new perspective from sitting with these fictional characters as they face not so fictional circumstances. Is the concept that everything happens for a reason one that is black and white, or is it circumstantial?