Jessica Bell never meant to be a rebel. But growing up with two gothic rockers as parents seemed to make it inevitable.
In 1980s Australia, Erika Bach and Demetri Vlass founded Ape the Cry and Hard Candy, two of Melbourne's iconic indie bands. They encouraged Jessica with unreserved love to pick up the guitar and write her own songs. But Erika's back problem became a nightmare of pill popping, alcohol abuse, and anxiety attacks. Demetri retreated into silence for fear of triggering Erika's drug-induced psychosis. And Jessica turned inwards, to her own reflection.
But her mirror self was a fiend, not a friend. All it took was one secret drink at fifteen, and Jessica dove headlong into depression and self-destruction to escape the madness at home.
Experimenting with bisexuality in a high school rife with bullies? Not a problem; she had alcohol. Losing her virginity to rape? Not a problem; she had alcohol. Trying to supplement absent love with unprotected one-night stands? Not a problem; she had alcohol ...
Until one day alcohol nearly drove Jessica off a cliff.
Jessica had to look at herself honestly and frankly. Why did she keep running from reality, and more importantly, herself?
"Bell's intensely personal memoir is a driven, dangerous coming-of-age story with a heart full of punk love and the self-determined spirit of a girl gone artistically wild." Joni Rodgers, New York Times Best Selling Author ****** "Moving and inspirational. Rips the inadequate Band-Aid off childhood wounds and shows that healing is possible. Anyone who's worked with disturbed adolescents will relate to Jessica's story and learn from it. Many children who bear the brunt of 'caring' for parents, are forced into an adult role, and their voices are rarely heard. Jessica Bell speaks for every one of those children when she shares her pain and guilt. There is no safe place and teenage Jessica's self-destructive urges, fuelled by alcoholism and comfort sex, add to the likelihood that she will suffer. The vicious cycle is not easy reading but has an honesty and self-awareness that helps the reader understand why a youngster would behave this way. The fact that Jessica's parents are rock stars adds glamour, but not financial security to the story. Creativity proves to be a better friend than alcohol or sex, and is also the lifeline which allows the love between mother and daughter to reach an adult understanding, all the more beautiful for its roots in darkness." Jean Gill, author of HOW BLUE IS MY VALLEY ****** "Real, raw, and beautifully told. Bell shares an intense tale of overcoming a deep depression that gripped her as a young child, and clung on to her into adulthood, with unrestrained emotional honesty and guts." Samantha Verant, author of SEVEN LETTERS FROM PARIS ****** "A memoir for anyone who has ever felt alone. A memoir for those who are so hungry for love they'll do anything. A memoir so honest it rips at your heart. This book is what happens when a poet/songwriter/novelist/singer pours her soul onto the page and the angst, pathos, and agony of feeling "different than" reverberates in our souls. This is Jessica Bell's Dear Reflection." Karen Walker, author of FOLLOWING THE WHISPERS