Silhouette Changes

Fiction - Urban
268 Pages
Reviewed on 11/08/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born in St. Paul, MN, T. R. Gray spent her childhood as a military dependent, which allowed her to travel extensively. Her travels continued when she served as a U.S. Army soldier and as a military spouse. Following those years, she served 12 years as a professional firefighter and nationally certified paramedic.

Gray holds a bachelor's degree in Business Management. She enjoys writing poetry, dancing, exercising, and researching random subjects. Her compassion for humanity has given her the desire to address social ills while entertaining the reader. She hopes you will enjoy Silhouette Changes and that you will take away encouragement, validation, direction, or clarity to what touches your spirit and your heart as you mitigate your own personal crossroads.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sandy Masia for Readers' Favorite

Silhouettes Changes by T.R. Gray follows three women as they navigate their multifaceted, complicated lives. The book follows Lexy, a gentleman's club owner, with a troubled past and a business to save; Kat, a dancer at the club, who is struggling to leave her abusive boyfriend and substance abuse; Kat's best friend, Beverly, who is a Christian trying to walk the path, save Kat's life and stay away from trouble. From the beginning our characters are stuck in a loop, ensnared by old habits and beleaguered by the past. The world around them has refused to change, but they are trying to make the best out of it in their own way — in a way that makes sense to them.

I went in expecting Silhouettes Changes to be an exploration of the adult industry and its ills through a religious prism — a cliched religious, interventionist work of fiction with a black and white view of complex issues. But that is not what I found here. Silhouette Changes is an honest story about human fragility and how unexpected influences can break our circles in frighteningly powerful ways. It's easy to relate to that, to see how honest it is, and think, "I see myself in some of this," despite leading a different life from these characters. And in the end, T.R. Gray does not pretend to have easy answers to the questions she raises about addiction, abuse, the ethics of the adult industry, religion, or deep family wounds. And isn't that refreshing? Life is just that — messy, hard, and sweet with moments of deep reflection and respite. Tragedy is always looming but you can live, find your answers, and stave off your demise. Be careful though, nothing's guaranteed. Silhouettes Changes is meticulously brilliant, deep, and enamoring!

Charles Remington

Silhouette Changes by T.R. Gray is a gritty, urban novel centered around three very different women, each facing critical junctions in their lives. Lexy owns the hugely successful gentlemen’s club which carries her name. Having gained favor and a certain degree of support from organized crime, those who had allowed her free rein in the past are now looking to gain a share of the great success the club is enjoying. Kat is a stripper at Lexy’s; a beautiful and talented dancer, she is one of a stable of ‘investments’ controlled by an attractive, charming, and manipulative pimp known simply as TL. She makes good money for her pimp and leads a high-class fashionable lifestyle which includes a fine home, and expensive clothes along with a good deal of drinking and drugs. Beverly is Kat’s close childhood friend, a successful model based in Los Angeles who, after being almost destroyed by the LA modeling culture of constant booze and drug-fuelled parties, has rediscovered her Christian faith and is keen to encourage Kat to move to LA with her, away from Lexy’s, and to start a new life free of the pimp, the booze and the drugs that are ruining her life.

The fast-paced, hard-hitting narrative pulls no punches as we witness Kat’s appalling treatment at the hands of her pimp and her attempts to find solace in an ever-growing dependence on hard drugs. Her visits to squalid crack dens are described in uncompromising, sometimes harrowing, detail that spares no sensitivities. As one would expect there is a certain amount of adult content in the storyline but it is not out of place and is in keeping with the theme of the book. The story goes on to describe how the lives of the central characters become ever more entwined with the narrative, building to a startling denouement.

I was greatly impressed by the quality of the writing in Silhouette Changes; T.R. Gray handles a variety of extremely difficult subjects with skill and aplomb. Her characters are solid and believable, duplicitous, menacing, or vulnerable, set in a world of which few of us would have any direct experience. I was particularly moved by her descriptions of the drug houses and the characters who inhabit them - places where Kat makes her increasingly frequent drug purchases. Also moving was her spiral into almost complete dependence in spite of her best intentions. The book is cleverly plotted, moving at a brisk pace but giving the reader enough time to become fully acquainted with the characters and situations. T.R. Gray is a talented author and Silhouette Changes deserves a wide readership. I do not hesitate to recommend this book.

Christian Sia

Silhouette Changes by T. R. Gray is a graphic novel with sophisticated characters. Set in the Minnesota Twin Cities metro area, it follows an unusual protagonist, Lexy, who runs a gentleman’s strip club and finds herself at the center of complex relationships. In this tale, three female compelling characters emerge as they struggle to redefine who they are in a world that is sophisticated, fast-paced, and filled with manifold challenges.

The novel is well-plotted and while it is the story of how choices in the past affect who the characters are, it is also a tale of the power to change one’s destiny. In the heart of the narrative is the persistent affirmation: the past doesn't define us. The characters are colorful, flawed, and believable and they operate against a social and political backdrop that feels both real and challenging. When the story opens, there is a protest going on against the increased minority deaths by law enforcement. The author weaves social reality throughout the narrative in a way that provokes reflection in readers. The themes are mature, featuring drugs, religious manipulation, violence, and more.

The realism in the writing is fueled by how the author writes social commentaries into the story and describes social scenes that readers are familiar with. The prose is gorgeous and the descriptions are vivid. Love, family, relationships, personal development are among the resonant themes in this novel. Silhouette Changes is a unique story that will resonate with many readers; it is fast-paced, featuring compelling and believable characters, and leaves readers with powerful lessons to ponder. An engaging story from a great storyteller.

Vincent Dublado

Alexandria Leigh’s love-hate relationship with herself creates constant inner conflict. Throw in the challenges of running a sexually-infused strip club business and you get an explicit tale of love, friendship, and survival in Silhouette Changes. Author T.R. Gray sets the story within the interiors of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. The main protagonist, Alexandria (Lexy), is successful in running Lexy’s Gentlemen’s Club with her aggressive management style. Yet she feels that something is missing in her life. The path to her success did not come without challenges, as she had been scourged by life’s bitter realities at an early age. And then there’s Vincenzo, a man who runs a string of strip clubs that serves as a front for his prostitution ring, who expresses interest in her business. Lexy’s past is coming back to haunt her. At some point, she will need to make a difficult choice that will become a deciding factor for the fate of her enterprise and the string of colorful characters around her.

Silhouette Changes is creatively transgressive, not afraid to tackle graphic themes, especially sex, to provoke thinking. T.R. Gray’s theme is controversial, but it can be regarded as making a socially relevant statement, and thus you take the story seriously. The novel contains erotic sex and can be quite titillating in description. This type of writing may attract opinions from every side of the political and cultural spectrum. Gray, however, treats the subject without making attempts at proselytizing about the changing norms in relationships. This novel holds the paradigm for greater freedom in fiction writing for its intriguing quality and interesting set of characters.

Romuald Dzemo

Silhouette Changes by T. R. Gray is a wonderful story with exceptional characters. It follows three women as they struggle to shape themselves and their future amidst a complex culture and increasing challenges. At the center of the story is Alexandria Leigh, commonly known as Lexy, who runs a gentleman’s strip club. She has to deal with different types of personalities in her work and handle difficult relationships. However, she is the product of the choices she’s made in the past. Can she break free from the way her bad choices affect her present life and redefine who she is?

Silhouette Changes by T. R. Gray has mature themes, and issues that provoke reflection in readers. While you love the memorable cast of characters, there are social issues that greet you right off the bat as you’re introduced to social protests. The setting feels like a character in the story; it comes alive with its beauty and its woes, a dynamic backdrop of the Twin Cities (Minnesota), and the problems it poses to street life. Within the backdrop of a complex environment and a sophisticated contemporary culture, T. R. Gray writes characters that are genuinely flawed, real, and that excite sympathy in readers. The story is written in gorgeous prose and punctuated by lively dialogues. This is a novel with a good dose of commentaries and the author does a wonderful job in painting a realistic world where the characters face themselves and the conundrums of life. The story is fast-paced, atmospheric, and poignant.

Toni T.

Silhouette Changes was raw and honest. This fast paced novel peeled apart the layers of life and it's unfortunate consequences of choices the characters were faced with. The story is profound and caused me to think deep about my own life journey. I would highly recommend the novel, but beware, it is graphic and may have triggers. It is intended for a mature audience.

Travis Wood

This book captivated me from the beginning. I like when an author spends a fair amount of time on character development. As each character is fleshed out, you begin to form a connection with them. You empathize with them as they face personal pitfalls and challenges. You share in their fears and experiences. The author has done such a remarkable job of describing the characters, the scenery, the action that you feel as if you are part of the story too. Her discriptions are so vivid that you hear the conversations, you see the outfits, you see the environment, you feel the angst the characters suffer. As you are drawn deeper into the story you begin to identify as one of the characters. This makes the book a real page turner because you can't wait to see what is going to happen to your character next. The drama and intensity steadily builds to a surprising ending that leaves you satisfied but at the same time wanting more. I can't wait for the sequel!!