Clara Greenwich is too young to take on the sole responsibility of caring for herself and her younger sister. She’s just sixteen. She should be focused on what other sixteen-year-old girls are focused on: going to school, hanging out with friends, falling in love. Instead, she’s working to pay off the mound of bills her mother left behind when she vanished at the start of the school year. Left alone with her eight-year-old sister, Beatrice, Clara discovers that she is now the parent, the provider, and the responsibilities soon grow to be more than she can handle.
Complicating matters is senior Evan Morningstar who starts pursuing Clara at the beginning of her junior year. She’s confused by this. Evan is a fairly popular, likeable guy. She describes herself as a nobody—a quiet, intensely shy girl who suffers from social anxiety. She wants what any teenage girl wants—love—but she’s terrified to let Evan get close. She can’t allow him to see how she lives for fear that he will notify authorities. But his gentle persistence wins out, and she has no option but to open her heart to him. She discovers something more than just a boyfriend in Evan. She discovers a loyal friend.
When Clara’s responsibilities prove too much, she begins a slow descent into depression, something she’s sure she inherited from her mother. She does everything to fight it, but it looms large threatening to consume her every day. When her mother returns, Clara must make a difficult choice or else stay trapped in despair forever. Only she can discover redemption—how to forgive the past and love again.
(Publication target date: December 25, 2012)