While searching for her meth-addicted missing mother,16 year-old Percy James discovers a baby girl in the freezing home of a local minor criminal. Taking the child, (or is it a rescue?), forces her to confront the nature of her mother’s affliction while she finds her own fate tied to that of the child’s. Mulhauser captures the sweeping sense of cultural and geographic isolation of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in a story of courage and sacrifice.
Sample some of Percys' story and get an idea of the author's excellent sense of place:
...Still I missed her. I missed her …and I was tired of the wondering where she was, and of the constant alarm that gripped my heart like a strangler vine.
So I took Detroit to Grove...where the houses and lives improved considerably. ...the shoreline where the real cash was. The downstate and Chicago money put their roots down in sand – their seasonals all perfectly placed along the water for maximum panorama, and not a soul there to enjoy it because it wasn’t nice that time of year.
I couldn’t blame them. It was the middle of January in Cutler County Michigan. We’re at the northwest tip of the lower peninsula, the top of your left ring finger if you map it by the back of your hand, and unless you go the whole Jack London, ends of the earth vibe, why wouldn’t you fly off to somewhere else if you could? It was only 9 o’clock at night and downtown was already 3 blocks of black windows behind banks of snow and there wasn’t a single other car in the streets…