July 19, 2008

House of Cards

Harper's family is kind of a disaster. What had been a magical thing -- herself, her stepmom, stepsister and Dad -- has been demolished. Her stepsister, Tess, has been her very best friend, and now steps away from her, as if they're strangers. Her father is deeply depressed, and Harper's had enough -- time to get the heck out of dodge.

"Away" turns out to be a building site in Tennessee, peopled with strangers and the victims of a real disaster -- a tornado. Harper is there to get a job done -- to do some work, build some muscles from hefting power tools, to find anonymity and some space in her head, and to learn How To Build A House. But there's a quiet Tennessee boy, for whose family they're building the house, who has caught Harper's attention. She hadn't counted on falling into a family all over again. It's not too a long way from building a house to the first splinters that fly away from the wrecking ball. Can she trust Teddy to be her all-the-time friend? Can she build a bridge to where she can reach out to her sister, Tess, again?

How do you build a house, anyway?

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