When Kate Steiner’s parents send her to a boarding school she believes that, unlike the other teenage students who suffer family, drug, or behavior issues, there was no motivation and, in fact, welcomes the change. But as her new roommate tells her on their first day together, "when the closet door is locked, there’s always a skeleton rattling inside". Jessica Almasy brings life to Kate’s troubles and anxieties, lending earnestness to the teenage voice. Katia Lief’s coming-of-age story goes from humorous to grave as Kate searches for solace from the traumatic discoveries of a first love tainted by drugs and parents with sober problems.
We were delinquents, addicts, mental cases, orphans, and kids from broken homes."
Fifteen-year-old Kate Steiner is not sure why she is suddenly boarding at an East Coast school for troubled kids, though there is evidence that her lawyer parents are having marital problems. It is the mid-1970s, and at the progressive school where she has landed, Kate is initiated into a stratified society inhabited by kids who fell through the cracks. Kate must grapple with moral ambiguities when she discovers that Patrick, her first boyfriend, is also a slip-sliding drug addict. In the loosening of family ties, and faced with an inscrutable headmaster, uncommunicative parents, and a doomed first love, Kate makes a shadowy passage through her questioning adolescence... finding solace in a 'soul catcher' dangling inside a geodesic dome built by a quirky boy who surprises her with an unexpected friendship.