Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Freebie: Hand Me Down by Melanie Thorne

Congratulations to Brian Bedard, winner of last week's Friday Freebie.  Brian will soon be enjoying three new books from Graywolf Press: Red Plenty by Francis Spufford, The Life of an Unknown Man by Andrei Makine, and The Legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan Karunatilaka.

This week's book giveaway is Hand Me Down, the debut novel by Melanie Thorne published by Dutton earlier this year.  I've had Melanie's book in my Kindle queue for months and hope to get to it soon (it's an unfortunate victim of TMBTLT--"tomb tilt," or "too many books, too little time").  Here's what BookPage had to say about it: "Difficult to read, but impossible to put down—this is perhaps the best way to describe Melanie Thorne’s debut, Hand Me Down. Like Janet Finch’s 1999 bestseller White Oleander, this is a raw and all too realistic story about a California teen forced to move from house to house—and often from bad situation to worse—after her well-intentioned but self-centered mother makes a life-changing choice."  Here's the publisher's plot synopsis to further entice you:
Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Reid has spent her life protecting her sister, Jaime, from their parents' cruel mistakes. Their father, who'd rather work the system than a job, pours every dollar into his many vices, denying his daughters the shoes and clothing they need. Their mother, once a loving parent, is going through a post-post-adolescent rebellious streak and finds love with a dangerous ex-con. When she chooses starting a new family over raising her first-born girls, Elizabeth and Jaime are separated and forced to rely on the begrudging kindness of increasingly distant relatives.  A string of broken promises that begins with Liz's mother swearing, "I would never hurt you, Liz. You're family," propels her between guest beds in two states searching for a safe home. All the while, Liz is burdened by her stake in a bleak pact with a deceitful adult: to tell the truth about the darkest of her circumstances will cost her the ability to shelter Jaime. As Liz spirals into the abyss of fear and shame that haunts her sleepless nights, can she break free from her bonds in time to fight for her life?

For more about Melanie, you can visit her website, follow her on Facebook and track her on Twitter.  At the Book Pregnant blog (where I'm also an occasional contributor), she has a terrific essay on how non-writing jobs can help debut novelists.

If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of Hand Me Down, all you have to do is email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Aug. 9at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Aug. 10.  If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week Quivering Pen newsletter, simply add the words "Sign me up for the newsletter" in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you've done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying "I've shared" and I'll put your name in the hat twice.

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