"Delicate prose drifts around the unsaid in this queer novel that grounds the reader in difficult, varied experiences of Baltimore. Jeffra understands urban projects and generational trauma on a visceral level, so much so that it feels educational without didactic condescension. This novel reminds us of the grave, the ugly, and the beauty, and even when we may feel helpless, small actions reveal the gems of life."
A low-income Baltimore neighborhood is targeted for a controversial urban renewal project-an amusement park in the theme of Baltimore itself-that forces its residents to reckon with racism, displacement, and their futures. Peter Cryer is a queer teenager who fantasizes about leaving Baltimore and the instability of his home life while also seeking a place to belong. Ruth Anne, his prickly mother, is terrorized by her estranged husband and the indecision of what to do after the wrecking ball comes through her neighborhood. Thomas, a cleric and History teacher at Peter's school, questions his vocation in the face of the neighborhood's destruction. These three voices braid together a portrait of a neighborhood in flux, the role of community and violence in our time, and the struggles of a very real and oft misunderstood city.