How They Left Us
Sept. 9, 2019
Children's: Young Adult Fiction
After Grace’s parents die in a car accident, she finds herself sitting in a U-Haul with her older brother Nathan and her distant Aunt Sarah, the only family member willing to take custody of them…at her run-down rental house in Indiana, over fifteen-hundred miles from home. Dealing with post-traumatic stress and grief, which now includes saying goodbye to her best friend Ayesha, the only person who seemed to know and accept her as a gay female, Grace struggles to start over. New (crappy) house. New school (with an overbearing counselor). New neighbors (most of whom dislike Aunt Sarah). Meanwhile, Sarah—a lapsed but talented artist now working for an insurance company—struggles in her own right, facing eviction and failing to uphold the parenting responsibilities she’s suddenly taken on. And when Grace begins to discover pieces of her parents’ past—by sorting through old belongings, developing film from her father’s old camera, finding bills that hint at unstable finances—she realizes Sarah is hiding secrets about her estranged relationship with them. Until Grace finds a mysterious letter, compelling Sarah to finally share the whole truth. Although painful, Sarah’s full disclosure provides Grace with fresh perspective on the depth of her parents’ love, the complexity of their relationship, and Sarah’s sudden commitment to raising Grace and Nathan. Better, it opens doors to emotional healing and new beginnings.
Cait earned a BA in Creative Writing at Barnard College and an MA in English Literature at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. She has studied fiction with Susan Choi, Mary Gordon, and Mary Beth Keane, among others. She has worked in the publishing industry for over ten years and in schools for over eight years. Cait speaks regularly at conferences for both publishing and librarians, including BEA, Muse and the Marketplace, and the Association for Independent School Librarians. She has had a variety of experiences in education, working with children from nursery through twelfth grade, with an emphasis on reading, writing, and the humanities. Cait worked five years as editorial manager at She Writes Press and has blogged extensively for www.shewrites.com, posting over 100 articles. She currently blogs at www.writingyoungadult.wordpress.com. You can find her on Twitter @caitlevin.
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