Out of Ashes

Would you leave everyone you love to escape the one you fear?

Cathryn Banks’s father is ambidextrous. He uses one hand for love and the other for rage. She hides his abuse beneath long-sleeves, makeup, and lies.

Every time her father locks her in her room, Cathryn wonders if she’ll ever go to school again. School—her refuge. At Brooks High she is a quote-loving history buff whose name no one remembers. At least, no one but her “collection of misfits”: Minh Jones, the foul-mouthed artist whose wheelchair’s bumper sticker reads Bitch on Wheels; Tony Giovanni, the meddlesome mechanic and “love doctor”; and Gustaf “Gus” Hein, the disgruntled genius whose parents’ scandal at Oxford got them exiled across the pond.

Cathryn longs to tell her friends the truth, but she cannot risk her father discovering her plans. With every report card she prepares for a future that may never exist, but still she dreams. Maybe this time she and her mother will succeed.

Maybe this time they’ll escape.

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