Vacuum In The Dark || A Metaphor For Your 20s

Title: Vacuum In The Dark
Author: Jen Beagin
Page Count: 240 pages
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Scribner Books
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Buy It: Chapters Indigo


Mona is twenty-six and cleans houses for a living in Taos, New Mexico. She moved there mostly because of a bad boyfriend—a junkie named Mr. Disgusting, long story—and her efforts to restart her life since haven’t exactly gone as planned. For one thing, she’s got another bad boyfriend. This one she calls Dark, and he happens to be married to one of Mona’s clients. He also might be a little unstable.

Dark and his wife aren’t the only complicated clients on Mona’s roster, either. There’s also the Hungarian artist couple who—with her addiction to painkillers and his lingering stares—reminds Mona of troubling aspects of her childhood, and some of the underlying reasons her life had to be restarted in the first place. As she tries to get over the heartache of her affair and the older pains of her youth, Mona winds up on an eccentric, moving journey of self-discovery that takes her back to her beginnings where she attempts to unlock the key to having a sense of home in the future.

The only problems are Dark and her past. Neither is so easy to get rid of.


I laughed so hard reading this book and continuously jerked my head back in shock a few times. I loved that the book was split up into sections based on the house the character was cleaning it felt as if I was experiencing different parts of the characters life.

Vacuuming in the dark is such a dark and effective metaphor for people in their 20s. Stumbling around in the dark trying to figure out their life and future. 

The main character, Mona, has no filter. She says what comes to mind and seems to step into situations without thinking. Being in her head was a roller coaster. If you’re open to bizarre plot lines, aren’t phased with many different types of sexual exploits and can’t stomach extreme descriptions of faces then please read so we can discuss this quirky book!

My one frustration was that I didn’t feel any sort of closure with this book. It ended a bit abruptly and the character didn’t seem to learn any of her lessons. This is characteristic of many people and perhaps that’s why it irks me. However, perhaps that is the point after all. Some people are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

I enjoyed the cleaning tips scattered throughout the book and I took notes, that was such a fun extra.

Thank you Scribner for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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