PW #350: Young Adult Contemporary: CHASING THE LIGHT

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Susan Gray Foster

Mentee Name: Sarah Taylor

Title: CHASING THE LIGHT

Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 85,000

Pitch:

Bekah’s future in her Evangelical community is set. After homeschool graduation, she’ll become a submissive wife and stay-at-home mother. Yet when her estranged aunt, a feminist boy (her forbidden crush!), and a brave woman from Bangladesh offer Bekah a glimpse of the outside world, she’s inspired to secretly pursue college. But breaking free of the patriarchy means shattering the only world she knows and tearing apart the people she loves.

Excerpt:

The lock clicked, the door hinges creaked in protest, and Dad’s boots thumped on the linoleum. A burst of cold air rushed into the kitchen, carrying with it the scent of smoke from some neighbor’s chimney and the taste of trouble.

Dad slammed the door, and the old house shuddered as though it were made of popsicle sticks and sugar cubes, just like our recent history project—a model Roman villa that Mom, my sisters, and I had constructed out of sturdy food items and Elmer’s glue.

Why is he home so early? Whatever the reason, it couldn’t be good. And we weren’t ready. I’d barely started on the casserole.

At the counter, Mom mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl with a ferocity that frightened me. Was she annoyed Dad was early, or was it something else? She’d been snappish all afternoon, and I was scared to ask, afraid it was me.

As I drained a second can of green beans into the sink, I glanced out the window at a flock of geese cutting a sharp V against the winter sky. Flying fast and free to someplace else. Away from here.

Dad reached the kitchen, and I turned just in time to catch the look: Dad’s wrinkled brow and Mom’s distinct head-tilt—aimed in my direction. A dark glance that meant something to them—and nothing good for me.

 

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