Growing up in a small town in western Pennsylvania, I felt a deep connection to this novel.
Harley Altmyer, the heartbreaking and lovable hero of Tawni O'Dell's riveting debut novel, should be in college drinking Rolling Rock and chasing girls. He should be freed from his stifling coa town, with its lack of jobs and no sense of humor. Instead, he's marooned in the Pennsylvania backwoods caring for his three beloved but unruly younger sisters. He has, at best, a shaky hold on the vicissitudes of day care, mac and cheese dinners, and visits to a once-devoted mother who seems not only resigned, but glad to hand over the reins of motherhood to her son... Frustrated, overwhelmed and utterly endearing, he's a guy in an impossible situation: and orphan with the responsibilities of an adult and the fiery, aggressive libido of a teenager.
I can't say enough how completely dark and fabulous this book is! I can not WAIT to read another of Tawni O'Dell's books. HIGHLY recommended. (Thank you Leah!)