Cult by Degrees
Monica Norland is a tenured professor of forestry who has no interest or time for anything but work. She has too many duties, too few grants, an enabling husband, and almost no friends. Moreover, Monica is the token female in a department of unenlightened males. Her slacker daughter recently returned home from a commune with a baby, a teenager, and a middle-aged lesbian/trans pair in tow. As Monica’s career tanks, she begins to observe the richness that a home life can bring. When she finally meets up with her only girlfriend after trying to reach her for months, Monica is forced to confront whether academics is a cult that she has to break out of, or if the commune is a cult of dreamers that is pulling her in.
–I am seeking representation.
It’s hard enough for a mother to uphold a measure of environmental consciousness while steering a family toward harmony, but imagine if the household is an off-grid commune and the family is eighteen ragtag residents who’ve somehow moved in. Imagine further that the mother was raised by grandparents on that homestead where she was always a little lonely and a lot loved. Dawn Perkins threw her land, family, relationships, and energy into the commune, but ten years in, it’s on the brink of failure. If it doesn’t change soon, Dawn will lose everything.
Nettle Soup is the story of Dawn Perkins and the world she created as it falls around her. The novel will appeal to people who struggle to do the right thing, closet workaholics who scrimp on time for joy, and people everywhere who hold a simpler life as a distant Plan B for when their rat-race becomes too much.
–The novel is in draft.