Zen and Gone
In France’s (Signs of You, 2016) memorable and thoughtful novel, Essence McKree, a native of Boulder, Colorado feels older than any 17-year-old she knows. She's forced to care for Puck, her little sister because their mother lives in a haze of drugs and boyfriends. But then Essa meets Oliver who’s in town for the summer and soon she's showing him the Boulder she'd forgotten: the mountain parties, the long hikes and the exploration of Buddhism at the local zendo. She's thrilled when he agrees to join her on a 3 day survival game in the Rocky Mountains. Puck, feeling neglected, hatches a dangerous plan and follows Oliver and her sister into the wilderness. Now Essa must rely on her newfound spiritual strength to save her sister’s life, and ultimately her own.