Bran’s Southern California upbringing is anything but traditional. After her mother abandons her and joins a Buddhist colony, Bran is raised by her ‘common-law stepfather’ on Bourdon Farms – a plant nursery that doubles as a cover for a biker gang. She spends her days tending plants, slogging through high school and imagining what life could be if she had been born to a different family.
Then she meets Peter – a charming, troubled college student from the East Coast – who launches his teaching career by initiating her into the world of art. The two begin a seemingly doomed long-distance relationship as Bran searches for meaning in her own surroundings. She knows how to survive, but now she must learn how to live.
‘Avalon observes beautifully the shifting terrain of teenage intimacy: its intensity and its fragility . . . it’s a hilarious, heartbreaking and – of course – extremely weird novel.’ Sunday Times
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