Sara Zarr, author of the National Book Award finalist Story of a Girl, returns with an intimate, exquisitely crafted novel of the courage it takes to see those we love for who they are.
Kyle Baker thought his family was happy. Happy enough, anyway. That’s why, when Kyle learns that his mother has been having an affair and his father has been living with the secret, his reality is altered.
He quits baseball, ghosts his girlfriend, and generally checks out of life as he’s known it. With his older sisters out of the house and friends who don’t get it, the only person he can talk to is his cousin Emily—who is always there on the other end of his texts but still has her own life, hours away.
Kyle’s parents want him to keep the secret of his mother’s affair from the rest of the family until after what might be their last big summer reunion. As Kyle watches the effects of his parents’ choices ripple out over friends, family, and strangers, and he feels the walls of his relationships closing in, he has to decide what his obligations are to everyone he cares for—including himself.
High schooler Kyle Baker has always been close to his large extended family he looks forward to their reunions at his grandparents' Northern California farm and dreams of continuing the tradition with his girlfriend, Nadia. His ideas about family and tradition are shattered, however, when he finds out that his mother is having an affair. Kyle turns inward, ghosting Nadia and his baseball team; the only person he can confide in is his cousin Emily, but she lives miles away and has her own set of problems. Then Kyle gets another blow when he learns that his grandparents are going to sell their farm. In a story about broken dreams and unwanted change, Zarr (Gem & Dixie) skillfully conveys Kyle's emotional journey as his narrow view of reality shifts and expands. Using a third-person narrative, she explores Kyle's point of view while acknowledging other characters' concerns, including aromantic Emily's uncertainty about her sexuality, half-Mexican cousin Martie's acute awareness of prejudice within the white family, and Kyle's estranged older sister's anger at their parents. A moving slice of realism, this book shows how a family crisis impacts many aspects of one boy's life. Ages 14 up.