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Heather

Ostman

Author of The Second Chance Home for Girls 

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-Kirkus Reviews
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Photo Credit: Clean Plate Pictures

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Heather 

"With its satire of a therapeutic culture that's designed to subdue the victims of an inescapable patriarchy, Ostman's yarn feels a bit
like a distaff version of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,
with a touch of Southern gothic.

The Second Chance Home for Girls

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Told through three interwoven narrative voices, The Second Chance Home for Girls is a story of friendship and freedom, loss and grief. Sixteen-year-old Summer counts the days at the Second Chance Home for Girls, a halfway house for troubled teenage girls, set at in the arid landscape of the Texan plains, until she can go home again, when a new girl, Lorilee, shows up and upends Summer's plans.

     

Feared and loathed by most of the Second Chance residents, Lorilee becomes the catalyst for Summer’s deep soul-searching and ultimately freedom when violence escalates and catastrophe determines the outcome of her life—and the lives of the others.

“Blessed by the soft pedal of pristine rain” is Heather Ostman’s destination from the beginning of The Second Chance Home for Girls.  This is a journey of growth and healing, of not letting go and releasing, of pain and joy, death and rebirth, until the end, where feminine voices of the characters of this novel write themselves in order not to disappear from the world.  These characters want to remain on the pages, and in the memories of others with whom they had been at one time convivial.  With melodic polyphony between the lines of this novel, Ostman carefully creates and develops each of the individual voices which are woven in ink and drama—growth and pain.  This is an engaging literary trajectory from beginning to end where the reader swims along with the characters through dark and light, faith and despair, “equal currents in the river, shaping and reshaping stones beneath the water.”

Xanatha Caraza, Author & Poet

What

   They're

      Saying... 

"Both heartbreaking and life affirming, The Second Chance Home for Girls 

brings you on a journey of repentance and recovery, of spirituality and reality. Ostman`s poignant prose reminds you what it's like to be young, what it's like to be vulnerable, what it's like to be human."

Elise Martucci,

Author & Literary Critic

"It's 1986, and the Second Chance Home for Girls in Texas imposes a 12-step doctrine and Christian exhortation on a dozen teens with histories of substance abuse and other failures to conform. . . . Those who don't get with the program are sentenced to kneel in gravel or sleep chained in a doghouse. Into the snake pit comes Lorilee, around 17 years old, who is preternaturally self-possessed despite the needle tracks on her arms. . . . With its satire of a therapeutic culture that's designed to subdue the victims of an inescapable patriarchy, Ostman's yarn feels a bit like a distaff version of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, with a touch of Southern gothic. Ostman leavens the claustrophobic tension and air of eerie expectation at Second Chance with subtle humor and psychological insights. . . . The result is an atmospheric yet entertaining read with an enigmatic, charismatic hero that will keep readers riveted."

Kirkus Reviews

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