Kelly McClure doesn’t do subtle very well and with her newest novel, Something Is Always Happening Somewhere, she has no intention to. The blows throughout this novel are abrupt and rarely show signs of softening. Within the first few chapters, we see the life of our protagonist, Dale, completely crumble. With only the slightest glimpse of a life before everything takes a turn for the worst, we walk with our narrator in the aftermath of death. They navigate through this extreme loss and attempt to acclimate back into a world that no longer seems worthwhile to be in. McClure walks us through the turbulent stages of grief and what comes after.
There exists a static bubble we find ourselves in when we can’t imagine anything being any worse than it is. A point on our timeline in which we neither regress nor move forward. Amongst the vulnerability found during times of loss, there is the ever-present and advantageous manner in which external forces attempt to monopolize on that exposure. There is always a false sense of security when existing in the world. Wreckage airs the weak points in our human nature, putting up new walls while leveling others.
“That’s something that’s always bothered me about the world… There’s an illusion of safety. Door locks. Car locks. Pin numbers. Surveillance cameras. All things invented, sold, and bought to make us feel like they do a damn thing to shield us from harm.”
Locked, forced open, slammed shut; McClure’s book introduces us to a number of doors we are met with throughout our lifetime. Some we enter and others we keep closed. Something Is Always Happening Somewhere is a tale of horror on self-sufficiency and the resiliency of the human spirit. McClure asks us to confront the edges that life pushes us towards and the things we find solace in clinging to. It approaches the belief in starting over, while still being haunted.