For fans of “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and “Eleanor & Park”, BABY & SOLO explores urgent issues (identity, mental illness, female autonomy) by examining a less-enlightened time (the year 1996), to summon belly laughs and weepy spells almost simultaneously, and to trust its audience with a character and story as complex as the world around us
BABY & SOLO
by Lisabeth Posthuma
Candlewick, Spring 2021
BABY & SOLO is the story of seventeen-year-old Joel Teague, who’s in the unique position of having completed seven years of treatment for a mental illness he may have never had. Now he’s got a new prescription from his therapist—a part-time job, which he finds at ROYO Video, a video rental store. He’s lugging around two humongous secrets (“The Bad Thing That Happened” and “What Was Wrong With Me,” as he refers to them) until he encounters, in his closed-off co-worker “Baby,” a remarkable and terrifying opportunity. To open up. To be there for her, and to be there. To choose vulnerability.
It’s a difficult choice. A childhood trauma has left him both more and less erratic than everyone around him (including his perpetually concerned parents and ROYO Video’s motley crew of femme fatales, enigmas and bratty-younger-brothers). And he’s obsessively chasing an elusive “normal life,” while navigating the pitfalls of exactly that.
Lisabeth Posthuma is a former teacher turned photographer. BABY & SOLO is her debut novel.