In June and July, we’re featuring the work of our Literary Mama editors. This week, Fiction Editor Kristina Riggle is giving away one copy of The Whole Golden World.
Deadline to enter: June 18
Fiction Editor Kristina Riggle is the author of five novels. Reviewers have described her latest book as “ripped from the headlines” and have compared her work to that of Jodi Picoult, Barbara Delinsky, and Chris Bohjalian. She writes:
I was leafing through my local paper when I saw a headline that said (paraphrasing here) “Teacher admits having sex with 17-year-old student.” That got my attention, especially as I noted this was my own community and my former high school. But what got my wheels turning as a novelist was the first paragraph, in which the reporter noted that the teen–seventeen at the time of the incidents but eighteen by the time court proceedings began–chose to sit behind the defendant in the courtroom, not with her family on the prosecutor’s side of the room.
I reflected on how different the girl’s story of the affair would be compared to that of her parents, the prosecutor, the town, the teacher. In my fiction, I enjoy exploring the different stories we all tell, even with the same basic set of facts. This concept seemed like a natural jumping-off place for me. I borrowed the basic legal premise but otherwise, this story is pure invention.
In The Whole Golden World, seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: she chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. By quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be. But her mother, Dinah, wants justice, and Rain, TJ’s wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, popular husband is accused of a terrible crime.
Told from the perspectives of these three women, Kristina navigates the precarious territory between childhood and adulthood, and raises questions about love and manipulation, marriage and motherhood, consent and responsibility.
To enter the drawing, leave a comment below or send an email to lmblogcontact (at) literarymama (dot) com. Deadline to enter: June 18
A full-time newspaper reporter before turning her attention to creative writing, Kristina’s debut novel, Real Life & Liars, was a Target “Breakout” pick and a “Great Lakes, Great Reads” selection by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. The Life You’ve Imagined was honored by independent booksellers as an IndieNext “Notable” book. Things We Didn't Say was named a Midwest Connections pick of the Midwest Booksellers Association. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two kids, and dog.