Poised on the edge of adulthood, seventeen-year-old Suzen VanderZee is waiting for her life to begin. Her fifteen-year-old brother, Evan, is bored with small-town life and dreaves of travel, while at the same time mesmerized by Soci, the new (and possibly bad) girl at school. As Suzen realizes a crush on an older woman might be the start of a serious relationship, and Evan considers running away with Soci, both siblings are thwarted in their quests by the complications and confines of ordinary, messy family life. Told in alternating points of view, the story reveals how little we know about the people to whom we are closest, even when they live under the same roof.
Lorna gives an overview of the book:
Suzen VanderZee is in love, or nearly. She feels herself on the verge of it, the way she can tell when a flu is coming on, by the strange roaring in the back of her head, the hint of wooziness, the loss of appetite. At the same time, she is lit with a kind of swoony anticipation, as if waiting for a phone call, or a telegram sliding through the mail slot, announcing that this is it, this is the One. She doesn't know yet whom she is in love with, but she senses that she will be sure, soon.
She is only seventeen, but she has always had premonitions. Like her mother, Esme, from whom she inherited blond hair straight as straw and a long, lean frame, Suzen has a touch of clairvoyance--or perhaps she is simply observant, as quiet people tend to be. The eldest of four children, Suzen doesn't know why she is so reserved; sometimes she considers it a lost opportunity that she isn't bossier. Though she often is left in charge of her siblings, she prefers to be alone, separate. She can hardly wait until she truly flees, rises out of the familial nest like a strong, sleek heron.
Lorna Jane Cook was born in northern California, grew up in Michigan, and has lived in Greece; Philadelphia; and Washington, D.C. She earned a B.A. in Psychology/Sociology, and worked in a runaway shelter, a group home for teenage girls, an emergency services agency, and on...