“The Closet Chronicles” by J.P. Haynes— Hiding

Haynes, J.P. “The Closet Chronicles”, Sapphire Books, 2017.


Amos Lassen

DJ Spencer is a professional and for her the world is black and white. As a journalist she lives with deadlines and she has become the person who “outs” those of the rich and famous that she believes need to be outed. She watches everyone carefully and feels that there are no boundaries.

In her personal life, however, DJ keeps her sanity by spending time with friends and their crazy carrying-ons and as she does, she realizes that she too is in the closet alongside a secret of her own. She has no idea of what is coming and how it will affect everything she does. She is certainly not happy at work, really hating her job of exposing private lives. This comes to a head when she understands that the people she calls her friends turn out to be not who she thinks they are, forcing her to face the realities of her own life.

The irony here is that as despicable as DJ seems, as we get to know her, we begin to like and understand her. She is the daughter of a bi-racial marriage who was often in conflict with her black mother who told that that she would never be accepted by others as an equal. She knew she could never share her sexuality with her mother because it was another mark against her.

We see in DJ the struggles she has had as well as the successes and the realities with which she had had to deal are quite powerful. Writer J.P. Haynes has created quite a character with DJ. This is a character driven novel written in beautiful prose that shows us something of how we live today and that even with the new freedoms we have achieved of late, we still have quite a ways to go.

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