When Charlie’s brother, Ethan, commits suicide at the beginning of summer, her religious father condemns him to Hell for sinning, making Charlie question things about her own faith for the first time. With both of her parents shutting down on her, Charlie finds comfort in playing card games with her Grandpa Ned who comes to stay with them. Then a mysterious boy named Hayden shows up on the front porch with a letter from Ethan which reveals a secret: Ethan was gay.
Adjusting to this news, Charlie begins to wonder--if her brother kept this from everyone, then what else was he hiding? She sets out to track down Hayden, hoping he’ll lead her to more clues that maybe, just maybe, will give her the real answer she needs. Why did he do it? In her search to find her brother, though, she doesn’t expect to find herself hanging out at a shady bar, dog-walking, painting an unfinished mural, and falling in love. While her family is falling apart, Charlie learns how to put herself back together.
Guide Us Home is a 77,000 word contemporary YA novel that will appeal to fans of Nina LaCour’s Hold Still, Jessi Kirby’s In Honor, and Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere.
I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and am currently an editorial intern at Entangled Publishing.
Thank you for your consideration.
I hated tuna casserole. Always had. I hated it at church potlucks when my parents forced me to have a bit of it just to be polite, and now as I stood peering into the fridge and all I could see to eat were seven of the damn things, I hated the dish even more. They’d accumulated over the last two weeks--well-intentioned neighbors and church members had been arriving at our door with their arms full pretty much every day.
I understood they were only doing the polite thing, paying their condolences and trying to feed us because they were worried that we would be too grief stricken to feed ourselves. And by the lack of other food items in the fridge, they may have been right on that last point, but still I was starting to resent the parade of happy housewives and their plastic tupperware which we “didn’t even need to worry about returning.”
My brother was dead.
He was gone, and stuffing ourselves with disgusting food wasn’t going to bring him back. If it was, I’d gladly scarf down all seven of these monstrosities, believe me. But since it wasn’t, I’d probably have to venture out to the grocery store at some point, because of the three remaining Webbs, somehow I was maintaining the tightest grip on reality.
I was just contemplating texting Brooke for a ride, since I knew she’d be happy to feel like she was helping, when the doorbell rang. Great, another one.