Psycho. Sick. Dangerous. Réal Dufresne's reputation precedes him. When the mangled body of his best friend, Shaun, turns up in a field just east of town, tough-as-hell Réal blames himself. But except for the nightmares, all Ré remembers is beating the living crap out of Shaun the night of his death.
Shaun's girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Evie Hawley, keeps her feelings locked up tight. But now she's pregnant, and the father of her baby is dead. And when Réal looks to her to atone for his sins, everything goes sideways. Fast.
The tighter Evie and Réal get, the faster things seem to fall apart. And falling in love might just be the card that knocks the whole house down.
In this atmospheric if slow-moving debut, 16-year-old Evie Hawley is pregnant and the father of her baby, Shaun, has just been killed. Following Shaun's death, Evie feels lost; her single mother works nights, and Evie rarely sees her, so Evie spends a lot of time with Shaun's friends. Evie becomes conflicted when she finds herself drawn to Shaun's best friend, school tough guy R al Dufresne. R al, who is half French and half Native Ojibwe, is attracted to Evie, but is plagued by guilt. He is convinced that he is possessed by the Windigo a mythological monster and that he killed Shaun, even though he doesn't remember what happened that night. As Evie and R al grow closer, the group of friends splinters apart and Evie is forced to make difficult decisions about what to do with the baby. McDonell sets the story in a rural "red-brick-and-wrought-iron town" where options can seem as bleak as the physical surroundings. References to Ojibwe mythology and language add texture as the mystery surrounding what really happened to Shaun, and who or what is at fault, deepens. Ages 12 up.