When a small-town tragedy sets the stage for a miracle healing that goes viral, nothing will ever be the same for the community, the young healer or the people who love her.
Stone Temple, North Carolina, is a typical small Southern town until the day a plane falls out of the sky. The aftermath of the horrific event finds a mortally injured boy, Wash, and his best friend, Ava, trapped in a pile of debris. As the townspeople try to rescue the young teens, many of them witness Ava lay her hands on Wash and heal him. By the time they've cleared the rubble, he's injury-free and a video of the miracle has hit the Internet. Wash and Ava are taken to a nearby hospital to undergo a battery of tests in an attempt to explain the phenomenon, but the only conclusion anyone can draw is that helping others takes an immense physical toll on Ava. A sea of people has descended on Stone Temple, meanwhile, expecting Miracle Girl to heal them. “She could not count how many reporters there were, how many cameras, how many people holding up signs that read ‘AVA’S REAL’ and ‘IT’S A MIRACLE.’ ” As religious leaders, miracle seekers and a media circus make demands and threaten Ava's health and safety, the girl and her father, Macon, must deal with the public and private reality of Ava’s gift, plus navigate health issues among their own friends and loved ones, including Macon’s new wife, Carmen—who's suffering a problematic pregnancy and whom Ava doesn't like. Mott’s follow-up to his stunning debut, The Returned (2013), is another creative yet haunting rendering of the mixed blessings of so-called miracles. Lyrically written, thought-provoking and emotionally searing, the book asks some unsettling questions about love, death, responsibility and sacrifice.
Another fascinating and powerful reflection from Mott on how the real world reacts when the impossible happens.