Ray Rose is a charming construction worker in Florida, plagued with guilt about a violent crime he committed. Ruby Falls is a beautiful animator whose freewheeling L.A. lifestyle is derailed when she stumbles upon a bloody crime scene at the Laurel Canyon guest house where she lives. Fleeing their respective home lives in search of reinvention, the two adventurers head for Alaska, where their paths eventually cross. The fireworks are immediate. But as Ray and Ruby settle down together, an accident changes everything.
"Lisa Teasley writes like the unchained lovechild of Norman Mailer and Nina Simone. Dive is a sexy, compelling ride through the deeper wilds of the human psyche. This book takes risks other authors would balk at-and leaves the reader gasping for more. An arresting, unsettling, and terrifically written debut."-Jerry Stahl
"Teasley has a fine original voice. She gets deep inside her character's heads but doesn't sacrifice plot in favor of psyche. Instead she finds a balance between a compelling story, psychological insight, and bold sexuality."-San Francisco Chronicle
"An affecting first novel."-New York Times
This interesting but uneven debut novel from the author of the story collection Glow in the Dark limns the passionate romance between thrice married and divorced Floridian Ray and artsy, cinnamon-skinned Californian Ruby, whose paths cross fortuitously in Alaska, where each has gone to escape considerable troubles. Well-liked and attractive handyman Ray has killed someone "a murder of principle" and has also inherited the estate of a man who picked him randomly out of the phone book; this eases Ray's financial life but brings other complications. Kids television animator Ruby lived on the estate of best friend/former porn star Jeannie and had the misfortune of discovering the corpses of Jeannie's beloved dogs (shot) and their dog walker, Chauncey (raped and murdered). Alaska, Ray and hot sex save Ruby from misery, but an untimely dive from a Florida pier leaves her in a coma. Here, the tension diminishes, as Ruby's family arrives to bicker about the situation while Ray anxiously waits by her side. Teasley never delivers on the potential drama of Ray's crime being discovered (turns out he killed this "mythically evil scum" who raped his best friend), though she drops a few tantalizing tidbits along the way. The ending is a bit too pat, with the arrival of Ray and Ruby's baby into a cocoon of their parents' growing personal fulfillment, but the characters are well crafted, especially Alaska friend Abbie, and the novel is a generally entertaining diversion that sustains its own mystery. West Coast author tour.