by Mary Jo Hazard
Under the surface, danger lurks…
Twelve-year-old Grace believes that all adults are trustworthy and good. So begins a coming-of-age story full of laughter and tears that takes place one hot summer in upstate New York in the 1950s.
On the surface, Stillwater seems an idyllic place, but danger lurks underneath. Grace and her best friends, Maggie and Louanne, grapple with divorce, domestic violence, and mental illness. Grace is devastated when she finds out her father committed suicide when she was eight. Several suspicious fires break out in the area, and Louanne’s schizophrenic uncle Tony, the town bogeyman, is accused of setting them. Grace believes he’s unfairly targeted because he’s mentally ill and convinces her friends to help her find the real arsonist.
Hazard weaves themes of loss and recovery in a story filled with quirky characters and invaluable lessons about love, life, and survival.