“A thought-provoking examination of familial love.” —Booklist
“A great coming-of-age story for fans of…Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist…and Thanks for the Trouble.” —School Library Journal
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, Charlotte’s reporter dad will fly into the eye of a storm. And now he’s heading to Ukraine, straight into the aftermath of a deadly earthquake. Charlotte doesn’t want him to leave. She doesn’t want to spend the week alone in a silent house with her mother, whose classically Russian reserve has built a wall between them that neither knows how to tear down.
Charlotte is holding it together okay—until the FBI comes knocking on her door. Her father has been taken hostage! The quake has left so many orphans and widows, but Charlotte refuses to be counted among them. Whatever it takes to get her dad back, she’ll do it. Even if it means breaking a promise…or the law.
Seventeen-year-old Lottie Lang has always felt that her globetrotting, disaster-chasing journalist father, Jeremiah, is the glue keeping her family together. Her mother, Valentina, never seemed to recover from the death of her first child, Lena, at 11 months, or from the stroke she had while giving birth to Lottie. When Jeremiah is kidnapped by extremists in Ukraine, Lottie believes that she may lose her mother to depression. Devlin (Tell Me Something Real) relies heavily on Russian folklore to give Lottie an uncommonly mature perspective ("She worries I was born with a curse, that I was born a potercha, the troubled spirit of a dead child.... I wonder if she's Umershey Materi. The Dead Mother"). Jeremiah's kidnapping is the catalyst that allows Lottie and her mother to finally have a frank conversation about their relationship: Lottie spent her childhood believing she was a consolation prize for Lena, while Valentina tried desperately not to hold her child too close. Though the initial setup is fraught with potential problems, Devlin carefully orchestrates the plot so the pieces fall together almost too perfectly. Ages 14 up.)\n