For fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Judy Gregerson’s Bad Girls Club, this is a deeply moving and exquisite novel about a girl traumatized by her mother’s serious mental illness, and the steps she takes to save her from destruction.
Bright lights, big trouble.
When Van arrives in Las Vegas at the upscale Silver Saddle casino with her mother—a brilliant businesswoman with fragile mental health—she learns that her mother assigned her a college student, Alex, to “babysit” her. Van is used to having to land on her feet—her mother and surrogate grandmother move from city to city all the time like corporate nomads, but she is not thrilled to have someone watching her now.
When Alex introduces Van, a talented musician, to an all-girl Sleater-Kinney-style band, she finally has a chance to let her guitar skills shine. But just as she’s about to play her first gig, her mother is lured to Arizona by a con man promising a “vision quest,” and Van must go on the road to find and save her mom from a self-help cult that could ultimately destroy her.