A good read, especially for teens/young adults. Ostensibly about race issues, but the predominant theme is really about family and belonging-or not-as experienced by teenagers. Two very different girls, cousins, have in common the pain of divorced parents and other teenage angst issues. Relatively tame compared to that which kids today are used to (in spite of scenarios in which the 15 years olds hitchhike, meet up with a guy just out of reform school and the like.) A story that kept me going, left me gratified. — Heather Bellanca
"When I was seven I told my father that I wanted to grow up to be invisible."
As a young woman of mixed race, Nellie Kincaid is about to encounter the strange, unsettling summer of her fifteenth year. Reeling from the recent separation of her parents, Nellie finds herself traveling to the family's lake house with only her father and her estranged cousin, leaving behind the life and the mother she is trying to forget.
As the summer progresses, Nellie will have to define herself, navigating the twists and turns of first love. At the same time, her family is becoming more and more divided by the day. Does her newfound identity require her to distance herself from those she loves, or will it draw her closer?
About the Author
Rachel M. Harper, a graduate of Brown University, has been published in Chicago Review, African American Review, and the anthology Mending the World: Stories of Family by Contemporary Black Writers. She lives in California.
"Rachel Harper's fierce debut is a tender, passionate, and moving read. A clear window onto a world rarely seen in contemporary fiction." -- Shay Youngblood, author of Soul Kiss
"A mature, intelligent, eloquent, lyrical, insightful work. All the elements of fine writing." -- Gayl Jones, author of The Healing and Corregidora
"Brass Ankle Blues is a beautiful debut...full of humanity and elusive shocks of recognition. It gracefully explores the fissures and possibilities that all young selves experience. This is a marvelous novel." -- The Providence Journal