Calves in the Mud Room
Brown presents an intimate portrait of the modern-day rural life of teenagers that deftly combines text-messaging jargon and the complexities of cattle farming. Brown's protagonist is Wade Summers, who longs to escape his smalltown life of pickup trucks and cows and is—to his surprise—asked to the school dance by the beautiful and rich Glory Schoonover. Of course, nothing goes according to plan: Wade is forced to deliver a calf on his way to the dance and has a disastrous evening with Glory. With this novella, Brown offers an engaging exploration of a young person's search for his sense of self in a seemingly (but not altogether) bleak landscape.