With an open heart and a willingness to forgive
You can go home again
Driven to the edge by the dissolution of her marriage, the impending foreclosure of her Nob Hill penthouse and bankruptcy of her business, forty-year-old Lara Russell is left with no money and no resources. Reeling from betrayal, she secretly withdraws the deserted studio of her deceased father on a neglected corner of the sprawling estate of her 80-year-old estranged mother of 25 years. Hidden behind an overgrown, vine-covered walled garden on a rundown and economically ruined dead-end avenue in Santa Cruz, Lara hopes to devise a plan and move on before her mother discovers her.
Like so many others during the 2009 depression, Lara quickly learns just how difficult mere survival is, especially so in the middle of a decaying surf-town neighborhood. Characters living in abandoned cars lining the avenue of more boarded-up houses than lived-in and a mysterious stranger steer Lara on a yearlong journey of self-discovery and forgiveness.
The heart of the story rests in the expanse of the Monterey Bay where Lara’s father took her surfing as kid. The counterpoint is the seemingly dead expanse separating her father’s studio from her mother’s house. As she battles her personal demons, Lara works to restore the garden shut away for nearly three decades. Between the watery realm of the bay and the earth that grounds, supports, and gives life, Lara braves the barriers of each to follow the path of discovery. But when storm clouds arrive, can she hold onto the new life she has worked so hard to create?
A dark, grown-up version of the children’s story The Secret Garden
on an avenue of boarded-up houses,
a mysterious stranger steers Clara into
a yearlong journey of self-discovery and forgiveness in THE AVENUE
Coming Fall 2021