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All-Night Phar­ma­cy by Ruth Madievsky

Ruth Madievsky crafts a fever dream of a novel that beckons readers into a realm where reality bends and emotions run raw.
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Ruth Madievsky crafts a fever dream of a novel that beckons readers into a realm where reality bends and emotions run raw.

In the heart of Los Angeles, where the glistening façade of glamour masks a myriad of secrets, emerges Madievsky’s All-Night Pharmacy, blending the bold spirit of Rachel Kushner with the beguiling surrealism reminiscent of David Lynch.

At its core, All-Night Pharmacy is an exploration of the electric pull between sisters, a bond both intoxicating and toxic.

On the night of her high school graduation, our unnamed protagonist follows her older sister Debbie into the heart of Salvation—a bar that draws energy healers, dreamers, and misfits into its mystifying embrace.

Through a deft pen, Madievsky crafts a narrative that crackles with tension, entrancing the reader with the protagonist’s journey—a journey that deepens when Debbie vanishes, leaving an aching void and unresolved questions.

It is here that Sasha emerges, a Jewish refugee from the former Soviet Union. Sasha, claiming to be a psychic, becomes a guide through friendship, intimacy, and mysticism, blurring the lines between reality and illusion.

Madievsky masterfully navigates the treacherous terrain of power dynamics, crafting a narrative that lingers like a half-remembered dream, challenging perceptions of agency and control.

All-Night Pharmacy gracefully unfurls a canvas upon which Madievsky paints a young woman’s struggles with societal norms and personal desires.

With an unflinching gaze, Madievsky’s narrative stance pierces through the veneer of glamour, revealing the stark and sometimes disconcerting realities that underlie the pursuit of freedom.

In this intoxicating novel, the central protagonist embarks on a dual quest—navigating the labyrinth of her own existence while dealing with the loss of her sister. Ruth Madievsky’s All-Night Pharmacy is more than a novel. It is an odyssey into the shadows, a kaleidoscope of emotions and experiences that resonates long after turning the final page.

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