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First love versus family obligations amid the Green Mountains of Vermont
There isn’t a heck of a lot that doesn’t scream target about Mina Mason: her weight, the out-of-date homemade dresses, even the hoarder’s paradise loosely disguised as the Masons’ home. Dependent on Mina, her reclusive parents are oblivious to the bullying she endures at school since they’ve never been past the driveway. Mina decides blending into the background is her best defense until she can escape her bleak reality by going to college.
Samuel Two Bears Miller reshapes Mina’s understated existence with his arrival at the school, his dark skin and long black braid exotic next to the Puritan pallor of the local boys. Happy, loud and often larger than life in the rural Vermont community, the Millers are the antithesis of the Masons. All through high school, Mina conceals her odd home life behind the closed doors of her dilapidated house, even after discovering love with the outspoken, confident boy. In a confrontation she can’t avoid, Mina must choose between the one person who makes her feel alive and the family who relies on her.
Praise for C.L. Howland
"Howland's debut novel is a coming of age story that keeps readers hungering for the next page, the next chapter, indeed, the next book." — Marisa Miller
"Clear depictions of Vermont rural life: tough upbringing in beautiful natural surroundings. Highly recommended!" — Charlotte R. Williams