Under the Rainbow (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Celia Laskey

Riverhead Books, 9780525536161, 288pp.

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

List Price: 27.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

When a group of social activists arrive in a small town, the lives and beliefs of residents and outsiders alike are upended, in this wry, embracing novel.

Big Burr, Kansas, is the kind of place where everyone seems to know everyone, and everyone shares the same values-or keeps their opinions to themselves. But when a national nonprofit labels Big Burr "the most homophobic town in the US" and sends in a task force of queer volunteers as an experiment-they'll live and work in the community for two years in an attempt to broaden hearts and minds-no one is truly prepared for what will ensue.

Furious at being uprooted from her life in Los Angeles and desperate to fit in at her new high school, Avery fears that it's only a matter of time before her "gay crusader" mom outs her. Still grieving the death of her son, Linda welcomes the arrivals, who know mercifully little about her past. And for Christine, the newcomers are not only a threat to the comforting rhythms of Big Burr life, but a call to action. As tensions roil the town, cratering relationships and forcing closely guarded secrets into the light, everyone must consider what it really means to belong. Told with warmth and wit, Under the Rainbow is a poignant, hopeful articulation of our complicated humanity that reminds us we are more alike than we'd like to admit.


About the Author

Celia Laskey's work has appeared in Guernica, The Minnesota Review, and other places. She has an MFA from the University of New Mexico and was a finalist in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers. She lives with her wife in Los Angeles, where she writes for ad agencies.