During one pivotal year, Grace Baer, 18, loses her boyfriend, her beauty, and her arrogance when a flash fire bores in deep and leaves a hypertrophic scar on the face she loves too much. A new obsession kicks in: Hide from the world, especially from her old crowd that nicknamed her Hey-Beautiful. But weeks indoors make her crazy and she heads down to the neighborhood swamp, meets Andrew Soltman, a teacher who introduces her to the Red-Legged Frog, Silent Spring, and a job assisting him with research at the swamp. If she’ll return to school. One day, after starting this unlikely work, she meets Leif Endicott, a mysterious stranger enamored of Che Guevara and, apparently, oblivious of her scars. He stirs a more essential desire, one she can’t excise or deny: to know she’s not as ugly as she feels. She succumbs to his charm and, for weeks, balances the Leif and the Soltman sides of her life. But when she finds herself pregnant and Leif and Soltman clash, she leaves home, determined to leave this troubled Grace behind.
Her new life unfolds. The child she’s carrying grows. A quarrel back home ends in Soltman’s death. The tragedy launches an inquiry by police that reaches her new quasi-hideout, plunges her into self-reflection, and forces her to look at how, through carelessness and arrogance, she helped her teacher to his death. Some Other Grace is a story of identity. Turns out when you go away, your self stows along. By summer’s end, she returns home from her chosen exile, having lost the child, but found the-Grace-she-meant-to-leave still with her, but in a larger version, as it were. She found, too, a world beyond her dressing table mirror.
Complete at 63,000 words and set in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a story of a woman’s vulnerability in a society obsessed with physical beauty, a vulnerability mirrored by the fragility of our wetlands in a culture bent on pavement. It’s a story of fire and water, loss and reclamation, leaving and finding home.
Since the protagonist is on the cusp of adulthood, at 18, and since the story deals with her first foray into sex and her loss of innocence, as well as her transformation, I see the novel belonging to a New Adult audience, as well as Adult mainstream
I’m drawn to the list of your book interests on your agency’s website—specifically, literary fiction and narrative nonfiction. Along with the novel, I’m working on some narrative nonfiction pieces.
Thank you kindly for reading my work.