cover image Adelaide Piper

Adelaide Piper

Beth Webb Hart, . . WestBow Press, $13.99 (325pp) ISBN 978-1-59554-027-0

Debutante Adelaide Piper grows up in the small industrial community of Williamstown, S.C., with dreams of attending a faraway prestigious college and honing her poetry skills. She soon arrives at Nathaniel Buxton University, an elite liberal arts school in the mountains of Virginia, only to discover it to be more about fraternity parties and fashion than learning. When a hazing incident goes awry, one promising life is snuffed out and another ruined. Then, a casual date turns ugly, and Adelaide loses her moorings. Her parents aren't helpful: Dad is obsessed with an Amway-type pyramid scheme; her mother with her failing marriage and two difficult younger daughters. There's more fodder for tragedy—perhaps too much—as one of Adelaide's best friends grapples with an eating disorder and another grieves an abortion. As she discovers religious faith—in a conversion scene that is expected, but nicely done— Adelaide begins to recover the core of who she is. Hart's faith-based debut is intelligent and promising. (June 13)