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A New York Times Notable Book: A group forms its own surrogate family on the margins of society in this novel by the author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine.
Mickey Gammon, fifteen, has dropped out of school and been kicked out of his home. But he has found a new place in the Settlement—a rural cooperative that deals in alternative energy, farm produce, and locally made goods. Run by “The Prophet,” the Settlement is demonized by the media as a compound of sin, but its true nature remains foreign to outsiders.
It is here where Mickey meets another deserted child, six-year-old Jane, whose mother is in jail on trumped-up drug charges. Playing “secret agent,” Jane cunningly prowls the Settlement in her heart-shaped sunglasses, imagining that her plans to bring down the community will reunite her with her mother. As they struggle to adjust to their new, complex surrogate family, Mickey and Jane are about to witness mounting unrest within the Settlement’s ranks—which soon builds to a shocking and devastating crescendo.
The School on Heart’s Content Road is “a profoundly human novel . . . Absolutely one of a kind” (USA Today), from an author who, “like Flannery O’Connor . . . has a gift for expressing the true spirit of a culture” (San Francisco Chronicle).
“Chute can’t help but create characters who live and breathe.” —The Washington Post
Publisher: Grove Press