FeaturedContemporary Fiction

A Native's Tongue


Loved it! 😍

A darkly moving novel—A Native's Tongue is a perplexing look at love's destructive power.

Wow! So much of Michael Dennis's novel, A Native's Tongue, is genuine with lines like, "I was ready for some more alcohol. I wanted to use it like mouthwash." Dennis's narrative is hard to look away from and equally challenging to become immersed in as a witness to this painful journey.

I love the cover and how it ties to Jennifer's first chapter as she considered how a drawer of clippings might explain the many questions about Charlie to which she lacked answers. As the novel opened, I was pulled into Jennifer's visit to see Violet in prison and drawn forward by the question of what had gone on between the three points of view. Introduced to Charlie's first-person narrative, I was curious to learn his story, which had gone awry, leaving Violet in prison and Jennifer contemplating how much of what they shared was real.

I enjoy stories that reflect on love in multiple forms and found this novel an exemplary example, with plot elements closely tied to the explored emotions. Power struggles, desperation, drugs, and family dysfunction come into play as Charlie and Jennifer navigate a need for something more from life against Charlie's destructive relationship with Violet. Facing these challenges along with self-destructive tendencies, Charlie hopes for an upswing and finds love with Jennifer, but as is the case in real life, obstacles stand in their way.

Though, very early on, I struggled to care about the characters as much as I wanted to, the more I read the story’s first half, the more I was drawn into their experiences and desires. The novel kept my interest with sharp dialog, poignant scenes, and tensely realistic conflicts.

I greatly respect Michale Dennis as an author and admire his skill at making many aspects shine above other novels of its caliber. I'm glad to have read this novel, and I expect many literary readers will no doubt love this book for its darkly realistic details and inner yearnings for more from life.


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About the author

Michael D. Dennis is an author and award winning playwright who earned a degree in English literature from Loyola Marymount University. He has a cult like following on social media as an edgy romantic poet MrDeadletters. Dennis currently lives with his wife and two kids in Santa Monica, California. view profile

Published on January 17, 2023

Published by Ocean Street Press

70000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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