A BRIEF ILLNESS
Young Adult | 65,000 words |
Seventeen-year-old Rory Brooks meticulously planned out her entire summer: days at the beach, endless nights at bonfires with her best friend, and winning the heart of the elusive and oh so attractive Cody Bradford. Her perfectly-arranged plans are derailed when her mother ships her off to Alaska for a summer with her emotionally distant father, his new, practically teenage wife, and a step-sister that she’s met all of twice. Her summer is obliterated entirely when her grandmother Harriet,the reason she agreed to Alaska in the first place, has a massive stroke.
Given that her father works odd hours and Rory's stepmother is splitting her duties between her nursing job and caring for Gran, Rory is given the glorious duty of full time baby-sitting Lizzie and part-time grandma-sitting. Then, in one of her more lucid moments, as her mind is slipping away, Gran asks Rory to find someone named "Ace." The only problem is, nobody's heard of him, and if they have, they aren't admitting it.
With little more to go on than a box of old romance novels, an obituary citing “a brief illness,” and an old folder full of short stories, Rory embarks on a journey to unlock a family secret and fulfill her grandmother’s final wish.