When the future looks back on the American family and the myriad ways in which we struggle to survive the everyday throttle of capitalism, this is the book they should read.
The sisters and their adopted brother at the center of this novel are difficult and headstrong and vulnerable and broken. They are frustrating and lovable, rarely likable in any simple way. They are raw nerves, firing, searching for a salve.
Sprawling in location and character arc, this book pairs its darkness with wry humor, its massive heart pulling you in closer, your ear against its battered ribcage.
On the day of their estranged father’s wedding, half sisters Cheyenne and Livy set off to claim their inheritance. It’s been years since the two have seen each other. Cheyenne is newly back in Seattle, crashing with Livy after a failed marriage and a series of dead ends. Livy works refinishing boats, her resentment against her freeloading sister growing as she tamps down dreams of fishing off the coast of Alaska. But the promise of a shot at financial security brings the two together to claim what’s theirs. Except, instead of money, what their father gives them is information—a name—which both reveals a stunning family secret and compels them to come to grips with it. In the face of their new reality, the sisters and their adopted brother each set out on journeys that will test their faith in one another, as well as their definitions of freedom.
Moving from Seattle’s underground to the docks of the Far North, from the hideaways of the southern swamps to the storied reaches of the Great Offshore Grounds, Vanessa Veselka spins a tale with boundless verve, linguistic vitality, and undeniable tenderness.