324p. Three Rooms Pr. Oct. 2018. pap. $15.95. ISBN 9781941110669.
Gr 8 Up—Libby's family are Quiverfull Christians—a strict sect that requires firm gender roles, lots of children, and the rejection of most modern society. When new neighbors move in to their secluded rural Tennessee area, they begin a tentative move toward friendship. The newcomers, however, have chosen this escape for very different reasons, including social turmoil of their gender-fluid child Zo. Both starved for company, Zo and Libby become friends despite their extreme family differences. Zo's family of liberal vegetarian feminists show themselves to be kind and loving even as Libby's father declares them sinners and heathens. Despite being told in alternating voices, this novel showcases Libby as the real star of the show as she navigates complicated doubts and contradictions. Zo's family is not without its own faults, and hir recent past is full of problems surrounding hir gender and sexual identities; but there is no real conflict or resolution to be had there. Watts, a Lambda Award winner, describes both families in great detail. While the extent of information is helpful for readers unfamiliar with the identities, most of it would be better presented as the story unfolds through character interaction. The ending is far from a surprise, but finding out how the characters, particularly Libby, get there is still fulfilling.
VERDICT A slow story about families and the difference between love and obedience. Give to thoughtful readers and purchase for medium YA collections.

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