Publication Date: November 2000
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When she arrives at Sea Pines, Callie is self-destructive, unresponsive, and withdrawn. Her parents and doctor have placed her in the "residential treatment facility" after discovering that she cuts herself. Callie refuses to talk to anyone, including her psychiatrist. But slowly, through compelling first-person narrative, the event that traumatized her comes to light. Callie reveals that her brother Ben nearly died from liver failure while in her care. Her mother was unavailable and her father was at a bar. Although their absence is evidence of a deep family dysfunction, Callie blames herself for the crisis. When the threat of expulsion from Sea Pines precipitates a cutting incident that frightens her, Callie finally begins her healing process. She opens up to the girls around her and surrenders to her therapist the compass she's been using to cut herself. Through Callie's frank and realistic voice, first-time novelist Patty McCormick illuminates a subject that is rarely discussed. Her story of Callie's recovery will speak to the more than 1 million people - mainly girls and young women - who engage in acts of self-inflicted violence every year.