Twyla Jane Lee has one goal. To finish senior year so she can get out of her military hometown of Halo, Montana. But to graduate, she needs to complete forty hours of community service, and that means helping out a rude and reclusive former Marine named Gabriel Finch.
A young veteran of the conflicts in the Middle East, Gabriel spends his days holed up in a decommissioned nuclear missile silo on his family farm. Twyla assumes he’s just another doomsday prepper, readying his underground shelter for Armageddon. But soon she finds out the truth, and it takes her breath away.
Gradually the two misfits form a bond, and Twyla begins to unearth the secrets that have left the Marine battling ghosts. Her discoveries force her to question her views on the wars until she realizes that even if she gets out of Halo, she won’t ever be able to leave Gabriel Finch’s story behind her.
A beautifully written and thought-provoking novel about a teen facing the collision of love, ideals and uncertainty about her own future.
Nina Berkhout’s debut adult novel, The Gallery of Lost Species (Anansi, Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s, Éditions XYZ) was acclaimed by the Toronto Star (“Berkhout does a masterful job”) and the Globe and Mail (“deeply moving”). The novel was named an Indigo and Kobo Best Book and a Harper’s Bazaar Hottest Breakout Novel. Berkhout is also the author of five poetry collections, most recently Elseworlds, which won the Archibald Lampman Award.
Berkhout spins an ambitious and sophisticated tale … A rich and jumbled mix of war and peace by an author to watch. - Kirkus Reviews
Berkhout creates a cinematic feel with her evocative language and scene setting. - Quill & Quire
Berkhout sensitively examines the loyalties we have to our ideals, to each other, and to our country. - School Library Journal
With this moving novel of self-discovery, Berkhout offers a mindful, timely reminder about the perils of blind faith and the power of change. - Booklist
Readers will be pushed to consider Twyla and Gabriel's disparate views on war, their divergent life paths, and the common ground that unites them in this timely, heartfelt coming-of-age story. - Horn Book
Berkhout’s prose has a maturity that respects her readers and also underlies the seriousness of this compelling novel. - Toronto Star
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