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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
When her father's gambling debts compel him to leave for an oil rig in the South Pacific, 12-year-old Faina McCoy is plucked from the only life she's known. Leaving beachside San Diego, she's sent to inner-city Minneapolis to live for a year with the mother who abandoned her and a mysteriously absent older sister.
A diarist and introvert, Faina is poorly prepared for the life that awaits her. Her mother, a bedridden alcoholic, and Cammie, her pretty blonde sister, are just the start of her troubles. But mix in a pinch of nosy neighbors, a cup of socially aggressive schoolmates, and a handful of pesky administrators at her new Catholic school, and the outcome is a novel to stir even the coldest heart.
The Discover program's mission is finding hidden treasures like this. Through the alternating voices of her characters, O'Connor's debut novel moves, evokes, and delights. With character studies reminiscent of James Baldwin's masterwork Go Tell It on the Mountain, O'Connor suffuses her imagined world with such feeling that readers live the pages more than read them. A flawlessly nuanced work of fiction with a steadily increasing intensity, Where No Gods Came is a brilliant work of storytelling -- and what we hope is just the beginning of a long, artful career. (Fall 2003 Selection)