finished reading

I liked this book a lot. Nora, the main character is not charmed, she's flawed. And a whole lot of bad stuff has gone down but she's awkwardly funny about it. Quirky characters, Harry Potter references, a goofy dog, lots of Maine references and other details. The relationships between teenagers and adults are true to my experience as a teacher. My only complaint is that the different threads of the story are a bit too nicely tied at the end. (Trigger warning: there is sexual violence in this book)

From the publisher:
One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There's only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn't necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter--a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was--Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.

But as some relationships crumble around her, others unexpectedly strengthen. Balancing loss and opportunity, a dark event from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise...and the chance to begin again.

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