WINNER OF 2018 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD
A Portal to Vibrancy is the story of Jackie Fellini, a pious Catholic girl, conscientious daughter, and straight-A student who is preoccupied with sinister aberrations – a rib cage hanging from a tree, the demons in the wood grain of the cellar door, her reclusive uncle’s deformed foot. Infatuated with Stephen, the new latch-key kid across the street, Jackie is conflicted about falling in love with a boy who is an atheist, who calls his parents by their first names and indulges in the sensuality and rhythms of the natural world. Stephen Sedgwick weaves in and out of Jackie’s life, showing up at crucial points, when she is choosing a career, when she is diagnosed with a mental illness and provokes her to examine her life of conformity by contrasting it with his life of creativity. Ultimately Jackie must come to terms with her “programming” and seek her identity, not only as a woman, but as an artist.