After a tragic event changes the course of her life, Cara discovers a new version of herself.
The daughter of well-known mountaineers, white, home-schooled Cara has grown up climbing mountains. At 15, she's a nationally ranked climber and a thoughtful teen who reads Henry David Thoreau and Annie Dillard. When her parents and her uncle are in an accident while attempting a summit—and Uncle Max is lost—her father's grief won't let him leave Ecuador. While her mother stays with him, Cara is forced to live with her grandparents in suburban Detroit. With her own grief overwhelming her, Cara gives up climbing and struggles with depression. Normal life in the suburbs is a difficult adjustment for Cara, but she's helped by her new, white goth friends, Kaitlyn and Nick, and her understanding grandpa. Recovering slowly yet realistically, Cara begins to see the appeal of her new life while reclaiming those things that make her Cara: climbing, Thoreau, and nature. Marching to the beat of her own drummer, Cara is an appealing, engaging narrator. Surrounded by a well-rounded cast, Cara's journey toward a peaceful, fulfilling life is almost perfectly depicted. Although some references that date the story to the mid-2000s might give readers pause, they will move past them as they get swept up in Cara's story.
A compelling, unusual coming-of-age story. (Fiction. 12-18)