NO WAKE FOR THE STARMAN
No Wake for the Starman focuses on what Jules calls ‘the healing process’ – from its beginnings to its conclusion. Personally, I found it uncomfortable reading to begin with. It’s pretty bloody and brutal. It was also an eye-opener for me. Through Jules’ words I’ve come to understand how strength comes through opening to weakness and not blindly or blithely ignoring or excusing this. I also now appreciate how difficult it must be – if only for the self-honesty – to face, work with and overcome those weaknesses whether at the first attempt or the tenth.
I also found that I felt it to be her most relevant piece of work to date. In ‘Starman’, I believe there are many elements that many people can relate to in part and this is what makes it significant to me. As R.E.M. sing: “Everybody cries… Everybody hurts… Sometimes.” This is a song that strikes to the heart. I think that ‘Starman’ as a manuscript does the same.
Rachel Rose or ‘Red’ of No Wake for the Starman has been voiceless as regards the demons of mental and emotional pain that, long ago, came to visit her - then stayed and played and then invited their friends in, too. She is beautiful, within and without. She is rich. She has had two successful careers - one past, one present, although this through a pseudonym. She also has a husband she loves, and to whom she will always be his ‘princess’; but they haven’t met for many years. She had to move far away from him and his decadent, abusive ‘rock star habits’ that she either shared or enabled. She’s long kicked the drugs that were a part of that life but were also a part of her life when they met, yet she remains a chain-smoking alcoholic, plagued by depression and self-hate.
Her saving grace has been the loyal friendship of the only balanced, stable, open-minded, decent, intelligent and deeply loving person that has been a constant in her life. This is - or, rather, was, as he has now died - ‘Gene’, a long ago lover, yet a man who saw her through very different eyes to how she perceives herself. As wise as he is intelligent, he had perceived the reasons behind ‘Red’s’ inability to find healing and wholeness and, learning that he was terminally ill, he gave his treasured friend a blank book and extracted a promise from her which, given, she finds herself meeting on the eve of her fiftieth birthday.