After Charlotte’s father is kidnapped, she and her mother must overcome their differences and find a way to rescue him in this eloquent, moving portrayal of family from the author of William C. Morris Award finalist Tell Me Something Real.
In search of the perfect story to put a human face on a tragedy for his newspaper, my dad will fly into the eye of the storm. And now he’s heading to Ukraine, straight into the aftermath of a deadly earthquake. I don’t want him to leave. I don’t want to spend the week alone in a silent house with my mother, whose classically Russian reserve has built a wall between us that neither of us knows how to tear down. But I don’t tell him this. I don’t say stay.
I think I’m holding it together okay—until the FBI comes knocking on our door. Now it’s all I can do to fight off the horrifying images in my head. The quake has left so many orphans and widows, but Mom and I refuse to be counted among them. Whatever it takes to get Dad back, I’ll do it. Even if it means breaking a promise…or the law.
About the Author
Calla Devlin is the author of William C. Morris Award finalist Tell Me Something Real. She’s also a Pushcart nominee and winner of the Best of Blood and Thunder Award whose stories have been included in numerous literary journals and in anthologies, including Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond, for which she was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Magazine. Visit her at CallaDevlin.com.
"Charlotte's feelings of helplessness and anxiety over the situation are compounded by her tenuous relationship with her Russian-immigrant mother, whose distance and reserve are the results of old traumas. Charlotte copes by weaving tales from Russian folklore throughout her story as a way of coming to terms with her own personal struggles...An intriguing element." — Kirkus Reviews
“Devlin beautifully weaves in Russian folktales, illuminating Charlotte’s complex feelings about her mother. . . . A thought-provoking examination of familial love.” — Booklist
"Devlin writes a compelling story filled with complex characters. . . . A great coming-of-age story [for fans of] Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn, and Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach." — School Library Journal
“The writing is fluent and stylish, and Charlotte’s engagement with Russian folklore adds depth to her view of her family’s tragedies past and present. The book is insightful about the delicate equilibrium of families; its portrait of Charlotte’s mother, fierce, self-contained and yet dependent, is original and haunting, and Charlotte’s desperate need for her love is beautifully complicated. The parental abduction plot is suspenseful, but it’s the familial struggle that will really strike a chord with readers.” — BCCB