When a supposedly dangerous Georgian refugee is rumored to be hiding in the small Pennsylvania town of Lomath, government agencies and the state police shut down all access points and forbid residents to cross in or out. Sixteen-year-old Livy is unsettled by these drastic actions, but what’s more alarming is her parents’ anger and skittishness. Livy takes refuge on the roof of her house and in the home of her best friend, Nelson, but she can’t escape the drama completely. One choice leads to another, and soon Livy finds herself entwined in the drama more intricately than she ever could have imagined.
Knecht excels in creating a vivid world in this haunting story, one where a bathrobe is perfectly acceptable attire for the local convenience store and no one is too surprised when the town crank initiates a door-to-door search for the fugitive. A child protagonist risks bringing preciousness to the story, but Livy’s teenage perspective is crucial here. What she learns the summer of the fugitive is that no one is free of secrets–not even the people she trusts most deeply.
Tin House Books