The Journal
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The Journal

Rhonda Brown (La Trobe University Victoria)

Twenty-eight-year-old Samantha (Sam) lapses into an inexplicable coma after giving birth to a child covered with a ‘veil.’ Family secrets and long forgotten events are brought to the present as the family waits for Sam to come out of her coma; as they find a journal written when Sam was only a child, a journal that contains detailed personal and sometimes graphic information about their lives, written as if Sam had been there reading their minds. The following excerpt from Sam’s journal was written when Sam was barely six years old: Saturday, May 11, 1957: Today, believe it or not, I visited my parents' wedding. I don’t know how I got there, but I could actually hear everyone’s thoughts. It was confusing at first, but when I looked directly at one person their thoughts would become clear and separate from all the others'. When I looked at my father it felt like I could see backward and forward at the same time. I don’t know how to explain it, but it was as if he was telling a story out loud and at the same time showing me a movie. Everything was happening very fast! I did not understand a lot of the things I saw or felt, or heard, but I will write down everything I can remember. Somehow I think I will understand things when I am older, but for now I need to get everything down. So here goes: One stupid indiscretion had cost 19-year-old Jose Javier Lopez Jr. the love of his life, of Lupita Carmen Garcia. As Sam slips in and out of consciousness, she sees her own and her families lives unfold and finally understands all the things she had written in her journal years ago…

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