Seventeen-year-old Ivy MacKenzie is consumed by bitterness over the tragic death of her Vietnam veteran father. Desperate to break free of a family that doesn't understand her and a small town that suffocates her, Ivy runs away with Gil Thompson-a stranger who shows her a passion she's never known and a violent danger she never saw coming. Ivy's younger brother Bryan has a tender heart, conflicting memories, and a fierce loyalty to his family. Their disengaged, high-strung mother Carol parents as best she knows how while coping with her own lingering heartbreak and entering into a new relationship.
Though their voices and struggles are their own, each of the MacKenzies grapples with loss and disappointment and yearns for love and belonging. Together, they come of age and come to terms with the ways that memories and dreams can blur reality; they learn what it means to embrace family, flaws and all; and they discover how digging to Indochina can help them find their way home.
"Biewald's writing probes and sifts the buried storage vaults of family relationships with an archaeologist's precision."-Lois Lowry, creator of the popular Anastasia Krupnik series and two-time recipient of the Newbery Medal for her books The Giver and Number the Stars
"An always interesting, authentic story about the next generation, the children of Vietnam veterans-children who dig, not to China, but to Indochina. A good solid read."
-Grace Paley, author of The Little Disturbances of Man, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, and Later the Same Day