About the Book
Nineteen-year-old Tessa is suddenly tasked with spreading her great aunt’s ashes all over the US and Canada so the rest of her relatives can receive their inheritance. After her initial dismay, she finds the road trip full of mystery and surprises. Old family secrets, girlfriend problems and beautiful sunsets accompany her as she honors her aunt’s wishes.
For Readers and Book Clubs: Reading Guide
Articles: “‘Being other’: Local author awarded for LGBTQ novel” By Danielle Woodward, Traverse City Record-Eagle
“Solid storytelling. A triumph!” — Rainbow Award judge
“A mystery, a road trip, and a romance, the story of 19-year-old Tessa’s summer will appeal to many different teenage and adult readers. The road trip for family secrets aspect of the story reminded me of Jonathan Friesen’s Jerk, California, though that novel had no LGBT content.” — Reviewed by Carolyn Caywood, GLBT Reviews
“This book has a beautiful plot and an amazing ending.” — Shirley Yan, Teen Reviewer, VOYA Magazine
“Like all good road trips, this one is packed with self-discoveries. Tessa’s travels and her self-realizations will resonate with readers. Overall, it is her lust for adventure and independence more than the mysteries of her past and future that will keep readers engaged.” — Review, School Library Journal
“Chris Convissor has a beautiful, yet sparse and contemporary style of writing that engages the reader from the start. Her descriptions of natural beauty are compelling, with great respect for the environment and indigenous spirituality.” — Sheryl L Mase, director, Mid-Michigan Library League, News of Interest Newsletter
Tessa had done a face plant in snow. She couldn’t move. She felt the cold snow on the left side of her face and neck. The heat from her jugular pounded a space with every heartbeat between her skin and the snow. She counted her heartbeats—one, two, three, four.
Someone else was breathing in her ear.
“Tessa!” Her twin brother, Eli, was bending over her. “Please. Get up. Don’t be dead.”
Dead? A rocketing explosion in her head, and in her gut, propelled her to twist and look up, but her eyes wouldn’t focus, so she had this blurry thing going on, like she had put on some old person’s thick glasses. She squeezed her eyes as tight as she could and counted one, two, three, four before letting them open again. Bare tree limbs high up seemed to be clearer.
“Oh God, Tessa.” Eli pulled her to her knees and held her. Her face was matted with something. Gooey, warm, mud? She tasted blood in her mouth.
Eli was sobbing like a little boy, not an almost man.
He was clutching her so hard his fingers were digging into her spine through her wool jacket. She was frightened by his sobs rocketing off the hills in this remote woods and she wondered why are they kneeling on this incline and why her stomach and head hurt so much? In the distance she heard a truck lumbering, wheeling, and whining down the old two-track. Forward it drove and then reversed. The engine plunged and shifted and roared, ramming and pushing through the thick snow on the Rayle road. Even though the hills were thawing, the snowmobilers had padded down a track on the seasonal road all winter long. It was very near impossible to get through.
In fact, her dad and Eli and she had snowshoed in on the road from 669. Her dad.
She doubled over, her insides cramping. A three-pronged bird claw twisting inside her.
“Oh fuck, Eli, what’s going on?”
She felt like her insides were tumbling out. Because they were.