Longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize
“Delivered with such conviction and grace … fresh … essential.” —The New York Times Book Review
When outsiders on a mission arrive to change a small town’s attitudes, residents and newcomers alike end up transformed.
Big Burr, Kansas is the kind of place where everyone seems to know everyone—or so they think. But when a national nonprofit labels Big Burr “the most homophobic town in the U.S.” and sends in a queer task force to live and work there for two years, no one is prepared for what will ensue.
Still grieving the death of her son, Linda welcomes the newcomers, who know mercifully little about her past. Teenage Avery, furious at being uprooted from her life in L.A. and desperate to fit in at her new high school, fears it’s only a matter of time before her classmates discover her mom is the head of the task force. And Gabe, an avid hunter who has lived in Big Burr his whole life, suddenly feels as if he’s in the crosshairs.
As tensions roil the town, cratering relationships and bringing difficult truths to light, both long time residents and new arrivals must reconsider what it means to belong. Told with warmth and wit, Under the Rainbow is a poignant, hopeful articulation of our complicated humanity and the ways we can learn to live with each other and ourselves.