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BACKLIGHT - Synopsis

A novel based on true events

Barry K. Brown

David Rock, 23, is accused of killing his famous Hollywood filmmaker father.  He has the looks of a handsome, carefree surfer, but inside he carries deep wounds that dominate his character and make him appear capable of murder.

         Witnesses and circumstantial evidence point to David’s guilt, but he has no memory of what happened.  Nor can he remember his childhood.  Early sexual abuse so impacted David that to survive he had to erase his memory.

         Indicted, he faces life in prison.  To ensure a fair trial, with the District Attorney’s cooperation, the Judge orders an innovative non-verbal, hands-on therapy he hopes will enable David to remember, so he can testify truthfully before the jury.

         With the aid of a charismatic Somatic Therapist, David journeys back into his childhood.  Salvation can only come through painfully reliving his terrifying past.

         A sympathetic female defense attorney helps David find the strength to fight for his life.  Still unable to remember what he must, David skips bail and seeks friends, family members and his younger sister, locked away in a mental hospital. Her revelations about their childhood are key to his survival.

         Enabled by this controversial new therapy, re-experiencing what he could not bear as a child, powerful memories surface in court before those who will either condemn or exonerate him.  This transformation is a tender and powerful epiphany.  The truth David re-experiences, and finally accepts, will allow him to love and feel—at last.  But will it acquit him?

         Backlight has explicit, tender love scenes woven into a barren lifescape where love seems impossible.  It is a story of tortured generations—a contemporary Thousand Acres, a Prince of Tides on steroids or Mystic River.  Its hopeful ending will encourage readers to work through their own demons.

         Backlight reads like an autopsy.  With sparing, direct prose, layer after layer of history is peeled back to expose the wounded yet still beating heart of a young man whose path was pre-determined by centuries of incest and abuse—originating in the Shtetls of Russia, where his grandparents were born.

         This is a timely, truthful novel that will appeal to a wide readership.  Millions, some who are out of control celebrities, live in the secret shadow of child abuse.  The media rarely mentions it.  Backlight is an adventure story exploring the mind and psyche—that is ultimately about healing.  It is especially adaptable for the screen and will make a film that will haunt and astound audiences.

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