White Nights in Split Town City by Annie DeWitt

It is the summer of 1990 on the last unpaved road in a rural American town. Jean is approaching thirteen and the twenty-first century is encroaching from all sides. Desert Storm flashes on the television, Microsoft has come out with a new program called Windows, and the horses in the pasture are dropping dead from an unidentified pahtogen. Family life at the Bottom Feeder—the only home Jean has ever known—is slowly disintegrating. Jean’s mother leaves, and in her absence, Jean is torn between the adult world and surreal fantasies of escape. She builds a fort with an abandoned boy, Fender Steelhead, to survey the rumors of the town, but as the kids begin to uncover their neighbors’ secrets and desires, Jean discovers begin to uncover their neighbors’ secrets and desires, Jean discovers her own propensity for transgression.

Both coming of age story and cautionary tale, this lyrical debut delves into the beauties and dangers of what it means to bear witness, the psychology of isolation, and our universal need to belong.

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