Summer Wood



Summer Wood authored Arroyo. In 2007 she received the Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation for her work on Raising Wrecker. She teaches writing at the University of New Mexico’s Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. In 2009 she directed the first NEA Big Read in Taos. She divides her time between Taos, N.M., and New Orleans.


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Raising Wrecker: A Novel

It’s June 1965 when Wrecker enters the world. The war is raging in Vietnam, San Francisco is tripping toward flower power and Lisa Fay— a young innocent from a family farm down South—is knocked nearly sideways by life as a single mother in a city she could barely manage to navigate.

Three years later, she’s alone again. Kids aren’t allowed in prison. And Wrecker, scared silent, furious and hell-bent on breaking every last thing that crosses his path, is shipped off to live with distant relatives in the wilds of Humboldt County.

By turns funny, moving and gripping, Wrecker is the story of a nearly-broken boy whose presence turns a motley group of isolated eccentrics into a real family. Real enough to make mistakes. Real enough to stick together in spite of everything ready to tear them apart.

There’s no guidebook to mothering for Melody, who thought the best thing in life was 80 acres of old growth along the Mattole River and nobody telling her what to do—until this boy came along. For Melody, for Len, for Willow and Ruth, for Meg and Johnnie Appleseed, life will never again be the same once Wrecker signs on.

And for Lisa Fay, there’s one thought keeping her alive through 15 years of hard time: one day, she’ll find her son and bring him home.

Set amid the giant trees of Northern California’s magical Lost Coast, Raising Wrecker is a rich and rollicking novel for anyone who has ever raised a son or loved someone else’s.


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