A little girl is like a grapefruit.
That’s what my momma would tell me. Pretty, pretty pink and best when sprinkled with sugar. Each boy would take just a little bit of your sweetness, she’d say. If you give yourself to too many, you end up bitter.
Homespun southern wisdom grew on trees down here like Spanish moss, and hidden inside were little chiggers, bugs that burrowed under your skin and infested your body. See, momma didn’t realize it then, but her words would get under my skin too because I was already rotten inside.
Portions of this novel were previously published under the titles Something in the Water, The Death of Lila Jane, and Heathens.