The School on Heart's Content Road spirals out from the story of Mickey Gammon, a disaffected 15-year-old dropout who has been evicted from his home by his overwrought half-brother. With the help of his new friend, Rex York, the captain of the local militia, Mickey is introduced to the secretive world of the Settlement.Run by a man known to many as "The Prophet", the Settlement is a rural cooperative in alternative energy, farm produce, and locally made goods. Falsely demonized by the media as a compound of sin, the Settlement's true nature remains foreign to outsiders.It is at the Settlement where Mickey's life collides with that of another deserted child, six-year-old Jane - a cunning, beautiful girl of mixed race, whose mother is in jail on trumped-up drug charges. "Secret Agent" Jane prowls the Settlement in her heart-shaped sunglasses, imagining that her childish 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 witness the mounting unrest within the Settlement's ranks, which soon builds to a shocking and devastating crescendo.Vehement and poetic, The School on Heart's Content Road questions the nature of family, struggle, and authority in an intensely diverse nation. It is an urgent plea for the disenfranchised who, though disregarded and shoved to the fringes of society, refuse to be silenced.More
"Chute...has an undeniable talent for depicting humanity at its most impassioned and impoverished." (Publishers Weekly)
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Rural western Maine experienced
This book grabbed my attention and the characters held on until the last word. The whole story seemed so foreign to me and I spend a great deal of time in coastal Maine, that it was almost unnerving. Haunting, beautifully written, lonely and surprisingly sad and almost futile at times. I left the book feeling that while I might not agree with or understand the author's world --I fully experienced it through her writing.