Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Diary is a narrative of a despondent woman chronicling her life and the strange goings on of the town where she lives. Misty Wilmot’s husband is in a coma. Her daughter is almost a teenager. Her mother-in-law is a constant drain on her energy and her shrinking wallet. She’s working as a waitress in a hotel and drinking to deal with the mess that her life has become. When Misty dreamed of leaving her trailer park home as a child, this is not what she had envisioned for herself.
Years ago, while at art school, she met Peter Wilmot, a boy whom her friends regarded as strange. They warned her not to date the creepy boy who never went to class and flunked out of numerous other schools. However, Misty found herself oddly attracted to him and his old rhinestone brooches that he pinned to his ragged sweaters. They eventually married, had a daughter and lived at his home on Waytensea Island.
But somewhere, things went wrong. Peter, a contractor, ended up in a coma after a botched suicide attempt. Money was running out and soon Misty was receiving calls from angry former clients ranting about work that Peter had done. Then, when her mother-in-law begins to encourage her to start painting again, the mystery slowly begins to unravel and Misty’s life spins out of control. She soon starts to realize that much more is going on here than just some hard luck. The life she thought she would have turned into something much darker and disturbing than she had ever imagined.
Chuck Palahniuk has created a character that you will love, hate and pity. As you turn the pages that Misty has written, you will be certain to find yourself entranced in a story that you can’t put down. She narrates her rapidly deteriorating life for her vegetative husband with disdain and suspicion for everyone around her. As I read this book, I couldn’t help but feel like I was part of a gaper delay on the highway staring aghast at the horrific accident that took place on the side of the road. The events that occur become more and more unsettling as you discover what is going on and the plans the town of Waytensea Island has for Misty. And when you think you have things figured out, you find out, you had no idea the lengths this town would go to in order to help their future generations.