The Fifty-First State
Hallie and Josh Corson share a father but little else—until a grisly highway accident leaves them both without parents. Forced to leave her New York City life as an aspiring photographer and return to the rural southern New Jersey town where she and Josh grew up, Hallie soon finds herself managing not only her family’s insolvent tomato farm, but also, Josh’s transition to adulthood. Struggling to become both a parent and a sister, Hallie must help Josh navigate his final years of high school in the shadow of grief while coping with the escalating threat posed by a violent former employee of their father’s. Amid a lush natural landscape where toxins have poisoned vulnerable wildlife, Josh draws on a newfound inner-strength to grapple with his own coming-of-age which, despite his grief, is replete with a vibrant romantic and intellectual awakening. He and Hallie grow in ways they never expected, and ultimately, they discover that even in death’s wake lives can change for the better.