November on the Canadian West Coast; it's often wet, miserable and dark. Lives get messy; streets are unsafe.
Wally Rose is a brooding, sporadically up-beat, old-time social worker. Carla Prentice is an overwhelmed, single mother of two teenagers, one who has lost his way, another who may be losing hers. The Prentice family, paralyzed by fear and silence, can barely keep a lid on their out-of-control lives.
Wally is juggling a convoluted caseload of youth, each coping with more than their fair share of adolescent struggles, the taxing muddle of leftover family distress, and a baffling child welfare system they are submerged in. An old file comes back to bedevil Wally. A habitual line-crosser, he may have pushed his luck one too many times.
Wally has been "nurturing" kids and fellow workers for decades. He has little patience for red tape and is a thorn in the side of his employer. He is also running out of gas. He hopes he can fill his tank one more time, not only to save himself, and those he cares for, from a capricious system, but also to draw his career to a close on his own terms.
"This is a riveting story that grabbed me from its first pages. I can't remember ever reading a more realistic and entertaining tale of child protection work, or social work in general. But beyond that niche, it is a story that readers of dramatic fiction will connect with and enjoy. It is an engaging story with sympathetic and nuanced characters who will stay in readers' thoughts long after they have finished reading the book."
- Sarah Stewart - Editor...
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