After a gang of neighborhood boys attacks Steven and his sister Jenny and dislocate Steven’s shoulder, the Parkers live well on the resulting settlement money. Their dream of success seems fulfilled. But their period of high living soon ends, and each family member grasps at what they want most. Jenny, the 14-year-old baby of the family, longs for normalcy, a state she tries to achieve in her Mormon friends’ religion and life. A stubborn optimist, Steven’s father clings to his hopes of success even as his more practical wife longs for stability. For Steven, nothing is more important than keeping his teetering family together.
Fulton cleverly uses the monochromatic Mormon society in this novel, against which the Parkers’ collective oddity becomes a serious handicap. Steven’s first-person narrative, rich with adolescent awkwardness and anger, hones the emotional edge of a family falling apart.The Baltimore Sun
Fulton pins his characters painfully and honestly to the page.The Guardian
Make no mistake about it, this is one of the finest debuts in years.Dublin Sunday Tribune