The Illustrated Version of Things is the tale of a young woman, raised in foster homes, juvenile halls, and a mental hospital, on a quest to reunite her disparate family and track down her missing mother. There are her grandparents, Holocaust survivors who reckon with history by staying in bed with their cowboy boots on; her father, a nurse who makes vitamins as a hobby; and her half-brother, an overachiever who doesn’t know whether his name is Moses or Miguel, but is certain that his sister isn’t capable of leading a steady life.
More than these, she longs for her mother, and she embarks on a search that leads her into the company of pedophiles, vagrant gamblers, fortune tellers, and musical ghosts. Enchantment and conjured memories become her only hope for finding her mother, until she undertakes a last-chance gambit—voluntary incarceration in the jail that might hold her mother—that will either set her free or follow her for life.
Konar’s characters, incredible, tragic, and sympathetic, keep us in a state of deranged rapture, making The Illustrated Version of Things an original and irresistible fiction debut.