Laura Flynn

Flynn’s debut about growing up in 1970s San Francisco with a paranoid schizophrenic mother sounds like the sort of overwrought therapy masquerading as literature we’ve been inundated with for years—but it’s actually as convincing as it is harrowing, and is ultimately a beautiful testament to the remarkable resilience of children and the power of imagination and (it really does hurt to write this) love. As her mother’s illness spirals out of control, and her father (presumably worn out from accusations of Satanic proselytizing) leaves the family, Flynn and her two sisters find solidarity and survival in books, fantasy, and, most touchingly, in the sorts of imaginative flight they’d originally learned from their mother.

February 8th.