Beating Drum of a Broken Heart

Now Available: Spring 2022

A Novel in Verse

A new novel in verse from the author of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls comes this pensive piece about the dangers of growing up an orphaned young adult on an Indian reservation just outside a big city. Using a hodgepodge of prompts, the author challenged herself to write a novel in verse about the travesties seventeen-year-old Esme battles as she waits to age out of the foster care system.

Once the fun-loving foster daughter in a vibrant, loving family where her precocious foster sister, Cambria, only a year her senior, led the family in melodious campfires after hiking, silly skating excursions, and boisterous bowling nights, suddenly turned solemn after her foster sister’s recent rape, subsequent beating, and being left for dead, Esme keeps the pain and suffering to herself when similar circumstances occur. She doesn’t want the drama and attention to siphon any focus from Cambria’s case. Cambria, who has been selectively mute due to the shock of the beating, is pregnant and in the depths of acute depression; all the while, Esme needs an empathetic soul and sound advice. But because she keeps the assault and rape close to the cuff, she doesn’t even get assistance from her new-to-the-force friend, tribal police officer Jessica Medicine Stone.

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