This luminous, haunting debut, alternating between now and then, reality and magic, tells the story of a girl confronting heartbreak while at a mysterious recovery program in the wilderness.
When seventeen-year-old Eli arrives at Raeth, a remote mountain retreat for teens with mental health issues, her mind is made up—she is not interested in participating, and she doesn’t need to “heal.” Still reeling from a breakup that left both her heart and faith shattered, she is determined to fake being “fine” so that the program’s warden will clear her to return home.
But the retreat itself has other ideas. The valley’s magical surroundings transform each time she ventures out, playing with her mind and dredging up her grief-laden memories. Despite the warning signs, Eli explores more of the area than she had ever planned, even venturing into the dangerous night realm.
This spellbinding novel mixes prose and poetry into an exquisite and evocative portrait of love, grief, depression, and the slow path toward healing.
About the Author
Ashley Wilda has an MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. In addition to writing, she loves painting, making ceramics, playing music, rock climbing, and hiking with her husband, Ethan, and rescue pup, Phoenix.