Dawn and her best friend Amber are students at Stillwater School, an experimental academy that’s the laughingstock of Atlanta. When Ms. Ella arrives to teach the eighth grade, she shakes up the school with her radical ideas and violent discipline, building an enthusiastic following and even winning the loyalty of rebellious Dawn.
The imprint she leaves on her students is both profound and damaging, long after scandal shuts down the school and leads to Ms. Ella’s arrest. Dawn pursues a destructive path into Ms. Ella’s family, while Amber embraces a solitary, bookish life. Years later, after Dawn’s mysterious death, Amber sets off to find her estranged former teacher. In the process, she uncovers a shocking story of narcissism, art, betrayal, and murder.
Barbara Barrow is the author of The Quelling (Lanternfish Press, 2018), which was selected as a Gold Winner for Literary Fiction in the Foreword Reviews Book Awards. Her short stories have appeared in Faultline, Southern Humanities Review, Cimarron Review , and elsewhere, and her scholarship has been published in Ecocene, Victoriographies, Victorian Poetry, and other academic journals. Originally from Atlanta, she has lived in New York, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and now Lund, Sweden, where she teaches literature and writing and lives with her husband, daughter, and pets.