A young woman struggles to regain her footing after walking in on her mother and the boy she’s loved since childhood.
It’s been five months since Jill Whitaker found her best friend, Sean Addison, in a compromising position with her mother. The day after, she found only a Post-it note; her mother was gone. Now, Jill’s left in a quiet house with a wounded father and unable to forgive Sean, the boy she’d dreamed of marrying since they were children. She spends her days in her father’s auto shop, trying to keep the mood light. One night, while sitting on the roof to escape the summer heat, Jill notices her new neighbor get into a violent argument with his mother. She throws a can of soda to distract them, breaking their window and subsequently sparking a slow-burning relationship with the boy, Daniel. The two lean on each other, sharing difficult stories of their parents. Only Daniel’s not in high school like Jill; he’s 21, and his scars run deeper than hers. As Jill defines her feelings for both Daniel and Sean in a clear, introspective voice, her mother returns, sending her into a tailspin. Each character’s pain is fully realized, and in spite of the love triangle, it’s facing the uncomfortable truths of damaged mothers that forms the pulse of the story. All the characters appear to be white.
A nuanced take on learning to fix yourself rather than fixing others. (Fiction. 14-18)