About the Books
It’s 2004, the year same-sex marriage becomes legal in Massachusetts, the year the Red Sox break the curse, and the year everything changes for Meg Myers.
Meg is an animal control officer who doesn’t much like people and doesn’t believe wishes come true. She grew up in state care, bouncing between foster homes and her alcoholic mother. Left physically and emotionally scarred, she is guarded about her past and pessimistic about her future. So she focuses on her job and her dream of opening an animal shelter.
Meg’s world is rocked by three women: Pam and her foster daughter, Violet; Gina, twin to Meg’s best friend Jeff; and Samantha, the vet who shares an uncomfortable past with Meg. Through her relationships with these women, Meg is forced to explore mother-daughter bonds, loss and grief, and what defines friendship and gender in her quest to find security and love for the first time in her life.
2016 GCLS Award for Dramatic/General Fiction
2015 Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Debut
“I especially encourage anyone else out there who has lived through unspeakable tragedy to embrace this book with open arms. Beautifully written and poignantly powerful, I can truly say that Wishbone gave me hope where before dwelled naught but despair. And that alone is worth all the time in the world.” — “Wishbone by Elaine Burnes” Review by Tabitha Beth, The Rainbow Hub
Her breathing settled into the regular rhythm of sleep, so I eased out from under the blanket, preserving the cocoon of warm air around her. I groped for my pants and shoes and crept quietly out of the room. Thick fog pressed against the windows, diffusing the orange glow from street lamps that lit my way. I began to shiver in just my T-shirt, so I dressed quickly and found my jacket in the living room, piled with hers by the door.
A blinking light caught my eye. Phone. That usually means paper and a pencil. After finding them, I paused. Already I’d forgotten her name. I’m not a love note kind of girl, but when a woman cries herself to sleep in your arms, it pulls at you. She’d said it wasn’t anything I’d done. In my experience, crying never helped. I doubted she wanted to be reminded of it, so I jotted simply, “Had a great time. Take care, Meg.”
I eased the door shut behind me and slipped down the stairs and out to my car. The clock in the dashboard glowed 3:13. The fog blurred the road in front of me, erasing landmarks and signs, so I wandered blindly through twisted streets until I recognized Route 9, the main roadway, and realized I’d been in Brookline. A little too close to work for comfort, but too late now.
Once the heat was blasting, I rolled down the window. I get claustrophobic at night and the fog didn’t help. A faint musk odor drifted into the car. Either a skunk far away or a fox closer. Night creatures, they prefer the dark.
I crossed the Riverway into Boston and took a right onto South Huntington. The quiet streets made the city feel like a small town until I spotted a homeless man pushing a grocery cart loaded with his life possessions. My headlights reflected back in two small bright disks. Raccoon maybe. A larger shadow slipped between garbage cans. Coyote?
I reached to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear and smelled her, like she had marked me. Even my jacket carried her scent. As I maneuvered into a parking space, I tried to picture her beside me, a hand on my thigh. My friend Chaz had been on me to settle down. Why not? I was over thirty now and sober. Most women my age were looking for happily ever after. Then I laughed. Not everyone was marriage material. Everything I’d read in books or seen on TV about true love showed couples who had a lot in common. Maybe opposites attracted at first, but in the end, it was about finding someone who shared your hopes and dreams. After all, skunks mate with skunks and coyotes with coyotes. In my experience, love was elusive and masked by lies. If it existed at all.