A New York Times bestseller: A memoir that "will break your heart and mend it again, but it won't stop haunting you" (Entertainment Weekly).
An ALA Alex Award Winner
Julia and her adopted brother, David, are sixteen years old. Julia is white. David is black. It is the mid-1980s and their family has just moved to rural Indiana, a landscape of cottonwood trees, trailer parks, and all-encompassing racism.
At home lives a distant mother--more involved with her church's missionaries than her own children--and a violent father. In this riveting and heartrending memoir, Julia Scheeres takes us from the Midwest to a place beyond imagining. Surrounded by natural beauty, the Escuela Caribe--a religious reform school in the Dominican Republic--is characterized by a disciplinary regime that extracts repentance from its students by any means necessary. As Julia and David strive to make it through these ordeals, their tale is relayed here with startling immediacy, extreme candor, and "unadorned, dark humor" (Los Angeles Times).
"Exquisitely wrought . . . Scheeres emerged with sensibilities intact and learned that love can flourish even in the harshest climates." --People
"A page-turner . . . shot through with poignancy." --The New York Times Book Review