Twins Justine and Perry have left their home in Australia and embarked on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest.
It's been a year since their dad lost his battle with cancer and Justine became the sole caregiver for her autistic brother, Perry. Now Perry has been accepted into an assisted-living residence in their hometown, Brisbane, Australia, but before he takes up residence, they're seeking to create the perfect memory.
For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of some of his favorite things: Ogopogo, Jackie Chan movies and earthquakes. For Justine, it's an opportunity to learn how to let go—of Perry, of her boyfriend, Marc—and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs.
But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble...
Groth presents an insightful and rewarding road-trip story about 19-year-old Australian twins Perry and Justine Richter. Their mother abandoned them when they were children, and Justine has served as the caregiver for Perry, who is on the autism spectrum, ever since their father's death. While high-functioning Perry is intelligent and kindhearted, his anxiety can turn to panic, and his obsessions with sea monsters, Jackie Chan, and seismic activity can be a handful, even for patient, understanding Justine. Two years after their father's death, Perry has decided to move into a group home, so this two-week trip traveling through the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. and Canada marks the end of an era in their relationship. Along the way, they visit a lake that's allegedly home to the mythical Ogopogo, meet people with a range of reactions to Perry, and track down their mother. Told from the alternating perspectives of both twins, along with excerpts from their father's journal, Groth's story is uncommonly sensitive, his characters' emotional journeys as critical as their physical ones. Ages 12 up.