From the book:

Some would say it began before consciousness, before words, in the mists and shimmers before time. Others would say it began at seven o’clock behind the shed.

Shrouded in normalcy––husband, home, Honda––Carol anesthetizes her memories in alcohol until she discovers her orphan past in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown.

It was the cold night air that pulled her, reluctantly back to the named world.

Once she told herself that she was cold, she became much colder, and she shivered and jumped up, found her clothes and dressed. Her hands and chest were trembling with the cold as she put the man’s jacket on. Oh, it was warm in that jacket, and she was grateful for it. She was grateful for this night, grateful for the anonymous lights, grateful to be alive.

From the back cover:

Carol/Orion is one of the most complex and rich women characters readers have had in a very long time. Her journey to herself and others is relevant to everyone. Carlene Bonnivier has created a character who is hard to forget.”

Marita Golden, author of
After, Don’t Play in the Sun, Migrations of the Heart
There’s a passion in Seeking Thirst that gives the narrative a driving force.
Seymour Epstein, author of
Light, Love Affair, Leah

Carol doesn’t know the words or reasons for it, but she knows she could scream forever. She was relinquished at birth and raised in foster homes, but she is too tough to spend any time thinking about any of that. In fact, she decides against thought and drifts into drugs and alcohol, and, more positively into art and imagination. She never shows her drawings to anyone and never shares her thoughts or the funny things she imagines that do give her delight, such as the sights and sounds of Spike Jones and Ravi Shanker in love.

Carol disguises herself as normal. She acquires a husband, a home, a Honda, a health plan. Cocktails. Some sort of peace. . .till the pop gun and the sitar go off, and the good life falls away. The scream-need starts up again, breaks right through the anesthesia, at about the same time she is convicted of Driving Under the Influence. Attempting to cut down on her drinking while “doing time” cleaning up a golf course on weekends, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to a woman on her clean-up crew who asks her to not have a drink for one month and see what happens. Carol changes her name to Orion, gives up alcohol, at least for the month, and embraces her love for the woman. The tantalizing belief arises that she, as Orion, can be visible and known and, even so, loved.

The universe.

Then, betrayal. Nothing twinkling in that night sky. But there is a new and frightening possibility. Knowledge and courage. It might kill her to try this path, but she decides to face the deeply unknown. She leaves the comfort of her home in San Francisco but picks up and takes with her the nightmare memories of her childhood experiences in downtown Los Angeles. She will know and understand and deal with whatever it is she has avoided all her life. She takes no alcohol or drugs, not even cigarettes or something to read, and she sets out, alone, on a long trek, backpacking in the Marble Mountain Wilderness.

She calls what she is doing
Seeking Thirst.

Seeking Thirst was first published by Radiant PSI, Virginia, 2009.