Old Buildings in North Texas
Olivia is thirty-two and living back home with her mother in Caprock, small-town Texas. Her therapist is a girl she went to high school with; her promising career in journalism has dwindled to nothing, and she spends her days hawking jewellery in a Mall following a favour from a friend. Life is back on an even-keel after her descent into drug abuse, but it’s a far cry from the one she imagined …Then, under pressure to take up a hobby, she decides to try urban exploration. Soon she’s poking through derelict homes, churches and schools across North Texas. But Olivia knows her therapist would disapprove. What began as a harmless distraction soon becomes a lucrative business as she collects and sells antique fittings and fixtures online.Her new-found freedom starts to spiral out of control. Victimless trespass is fast evolving into criminal behaviour, and the path her rehabilitation is taking leads Olivia to question her own moral code. She’s not supposed to withhold information from her therapist – yet she does.Nor is she supposed to be stashing money in a secret account when she owes so much to so many – and although she’s supposedly prohibited from communicating with people from her past, old friends keep showing up, making demands and threats.
To add to it all, her baby sister has turned up pregnant, the question of their absent fathers has once more been unearthed, and her prescribed medication is inducing an unnatural detachment that makes her feel as though she’s not present in her own life.Tackling difficult subjects with a warmth and humour, and creating an unforgettable protagonist, Jen Waldo brings an electrifying tone to fiction – she is an astonishing new American voice who will stop you in her tracks.
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