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Reviewed by Cloie Belle Daffon for Readers' Favorite
Larry Lockridge’s Out of Wedlock is part of the Enigma Quartet series. Jess Freeman has spontaneous eidetic imagery as psychiatrists would call it. He will disconnect and go into a trance for hours to escape reality. He also has terrible nightmares that make him scream and wake those around him. Through the years, Jess has learned to live with his reality and knows he is more than just his nightmares. He is a plastic surgeon who has endured misfortunes and, along the way, found companions, each with their own story to show and tell.
Out of Wedlock by Larry Lockridge is a transformative, fresh, and unique tale that is both humorous and intimate. The characters and plotline are extraordinary and quirky and I found myself drawn in by the lighthearted tone and lyrical narrative. Lockridge weaves together an unconventional tale of fluid identities, intimacy, and more. Jess’ perspective of his adventures and experiences is eccentric yet charming. Despite Jess’ confident front, there is an underlying vulnerability to his words. An example is when he talks about his nightmares and being out of touch and out of sync with Natalia. At the heart of the misadventures and troubles faced by Jess and his companions, there is a lesson of perseverance and hope. Despite the missteps and challenges, they gain companionship, understanding, and affection.
The deeper I got into the story, the more attached and charmed I was by the distinctive characters that appear in Lockridge's Enigma Quartet series. It is a pleasure to have experienced and joined them in their adventures, to have heard their stories, and reveled in their discoveries. Included are delicate, black-and-white sketches between chapters that add depth and visualization to the story. Overall, it is a well-balanced and enjoyable read that charmed me right from the start! I will remember this book for a long time. Excellent work.