Erasing age and genre barriers, prize-winning, bestselling YA author Hinton turns out a dark, funny, scary, suspenseful tale that will entertain mainstream and adventure/horror readers alike. Jamie Sommers is orphaned at the age of eight in 1950 and sent to live with some nasty nuns until graduating as a troubled young man to a life at sea. After surviving a number of life-threatening adventures in exotic ports, he ends up in the small town of Hawkes Harbor on the Delaware coast, where he stumbles into a situation so dire his entire life is changed in a manner of minutes. His new employer, the mysterious Grenville Hawke, lord of Hawkes Hall, known to Jamie as It, the Thing and the Vampire, almost kills Jamie, then goes on to enslave him for years to come. Moving back and forth through time, Hinton twists and shapes her bleak material until the story and the reader's expectations have been turned upside down. This is an adult novel, meaning that Hinton gets to write sex scenes and use the word fuck when she wants to, but the basic elements that made her 30-year-old book The Outsiders a long-time bestseller are present in this rousing read. This is a contemporary Treasure Island with a genre-bending twist. Agent, Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown. (Sept.)
Forecast: Booksellers should have success hand-selling to grown-up Hinton fans; older YA readers will enjoy the novel, too. With sufficient promo and word of mouth, this could hit national lists.
Release date: 09/01/2004