Other than her bonsai trees, twenty-year-old arborist Silvania August Moonbeam Merigal is alone in the world. After her mother dies and then her grandfather--the man who raised her and the last of her family--Silva suffers a sexual assault and becomes pregnant. Then, ready to end her own life, she discovers evidence of a long-lost artist grandmother, Isabelle. Desperate to remake a family for herself, Silva leaves her island home on the Puget Sound and traces her grandmother's path to a hippie beekeeper named Nick Larkins with secrets of his own and then to a religious, anti-government Y2K cult embedded deep in the wilds of Hells Canyon. Len Dietz is the charismatic leader of the Almost Paradise compound, a place full of violence and drama: impregnated child brides called the Twelve Maidens, an armed occupation of a visitor's center, shot-up mountain sheep washing up along with a half-drowned dog, and men transporting weapons in the middle of the night. As tensions erupt into violence, Silva, Isabelle, Nick, and the members of Almost Paradise find themselves disastrously entangled, and Silva is forced to face both her own history of loss and the history of loss she's stepped into: ruinous stories of family that threaten to destroy them all.
Annie Lampman has an MFA in fiction and teaches creative writing at the Washington State University Honors College. She has been awarded a 2020 Literature Fellowship Special Mention by the Idaho Commission on the Arts, a Best American Essays "Notable," a Pushcart Prize Special Mention, the Dogwood Literary Award in Fiction, the Everybody Writes Award in Poetry, and a Bureau of Land Management national wilderness artist's residency in the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness. She lives in Moscow, Idaho.
Original bio sent from Cassandra:
Cassandra Campbell began doing voice overs as the voice for Calvin Klein's Italian commercials. This was followed by commercial and documentary recording in both English and Italian. She has recorded many audiobooks and has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as an Audie(R) Award nomination. As an actress and director, she has worked at the Public, the Mint, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stagewest, Theatreworks, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Millmountain Theatre, the National Shakespeare Company, and the New York Fringe Festival.