Here is a slight teaser from the beginning of QotF:
At this time in 1976, Leeper Park is neglected by the city, its grass shaggy and its rosebushes covered with remnants of blossoms, looking like wads of tissue paper. On the south side one section holds the duck pond, an odd stone construction resembling nothing so much as a granite toilet, and a set of swings and other playground equipment that clustered in a gravel pool around a water fountain before giving way to tennis courts. A chain link fence surrounds the pond. A man and two children stand throwing bits of balled up Wonder Bread to the fat white ducks that swarmed the fence, jostling against its jingle as they fight for the food. Several mallards lurk out in the dark water, warier than their domesticated kindred, and looking considerably more frayed.
Mary Pat throws her bread out, feeling numb and miserable. Beside her, her father turns and stares out at the river, smoking a cigar. A breeze tears scraps of flame and ash from the cigar's tip. A coal glows on her wrist for a few seconds before dying away, and she doesn't dip her arm under its touch or flick it away, but welcomes the quick pain and its smoldering aftermath.
The crowd of white ducks shove like shoppers on a Sunday morning. One of them is jostled and pecked at more than the others. Its skin shows bloody beneath the bare patches where its feathers have been worn away.
Mary Pat knows how it feels, she thinks.
I try not to talk about too much personal stuff on this blog, but I'm going to do so briefly. Without going into details, this recently became the most horrific summer of my life. I'm still immersed in the most painful part and not knowing what will happen, along with waiting to find out what will occur with my mother. I remain hopeful that everything will get worked out, and I ask for your patience and prayers.