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Something is drawing seventeen-year-old Jesse Bryce toward the community of Pagans who live in "the village," just outside his rural Oklahoma town. Maybe it's that he has a crush on Griffin Holyoke, a tall, dark-haired boy with a tree tattooed all up his back. Or maybe it's that the Pagans accept Jesse for who he is, unlike his family—or his church, where he hears that being gay is a sin.
After a man from the village is murdered while trying to prevent an assault on a girl from the town, Jesse's confusion at the town's unsympathetic reaction inspires him to set a mission for himself: to build a bridge of acceptance between the town and the village.
As Jesse defies his parents and continues to visit the village, he witnesses mysterious rituals that haunt him with their beauty and intensity. And he falls in love with one enigmatic, mercurial Pagan who opens his eyes to a whole new world.
This first-person story explores what can happen when we make conclusions about others based on too little information, or on the wrong information. Whether we're misunderstanding each others' religions or each others' sexual orientation, everyone benefits from learning the truth. And everyone benefits from forgiveness.
"Another winner from Robin Reardon, possibly her most ambitious novel yet. I hate to make a silly pun, but I can't help myself: this book rocks." — Brent Hartinger, author of Geography Club and The Otto Digmore Difference
"Readers of Robin Reardon's other work know what to expect by now: an endearing, well-developed, and introspective LGBTQ protagonist, a twisting plot worthy of the craziest telenovela, and deep explorations of myriad subjects highlighted by especially deep discussions of religious concerns." —Timothy Woodward, author of If I Told You So
"Here is where we see Reardon shine. She obviously has done her research well and she wonderfully explains the mysterious rituals that Jesse sees as she captures the beauty and the intensity within them. Jesse soon finds himself in love with a villager who teaches him so much and lets him see a whole new kind of existence." —Amos Lassen (Amos Lassen Reviews)