Query Letter #49
Title: Shattered Glass
Genre: YA Contemporary Coming-of-Age
Dear Sarah LaPolla,
A teenage summer nanny tries to shield children from their parents’ alcohol abuse and violence, while sad secrets tear her own family apart. Your web page indicates that you like coming-of-age stories; SHATTERED GLASS is a YA contemporary coming-of-age story complete at 78,650 words.
Emily is a good, slightly sarcastic teen who expects her worst problems at the lakeside rental cottage to be the young children in her care. She discovers that their parents, the Lockes, fight, drink heavily, and cheat on each other, but she stays to try to shield the children from their parents. Mrs. Locke spends too much time with the man next door, and may have been messing around with a teenager the previous summer. Shocked, Emily seeks advice from her parents, but they are unavailable, emotionally and geographically. The summer continues to spiral downward, with the Lockes’ fights escalating into physical, and Emily is gashed with broken glass while trying to shield one of the kids from harm. She realizes that, although she would do anything for the children, the Lockes’ problems are beyond what she can handle. She goes home, but finds her family fractured beyond repair, her parents separating.
After a summer of trying to hold together another family, she is faced with the wreckage of her own. Emily must make an impossible choice between two parents who love her, but no longer love each other.
I’ve had short fiction published in Golf Digest, Mother’s Manual and The Petigru Review, and won first place in South Carolina Writer’s Workshop 2009 fiction contest. Would you like to see the manuscript?