Falling Through the Cracks

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"Every American down here is escaping something," expatriate Henry Whitman tells young vacationer Iris Bloom. Iris has drifted off-course from her Colorado family's solid influence. Attaching herself to a charming tree-sitting activist in Oregon by the name of Blair Jaeger, she journeys with him to Mexico, ostensibly for a summer of surfing. Neither knows the other is fleeing something "back in the States." Blair is escaping an eco-terrorist act gone wrong, and Iris is running from her twin sister's suicide attempt over a boyfriend. In this Mexican backwater with a name that means nothing, Iris encounters people and events that redirect her path. A near-drowning, a rebuffed love, and a Scrabble(r) rivalry with Henry, her terminally ill landlord, cause Iris to find her bearings again.Since the age of seven, Barbara Haynie grew up "mostly outdoors" on the eastern slope of the Rockies. Currently, she lives in a forest behind her nursery, where she can see her two horses from her kitchen window and ride along the Poudre River.