What is the value of one life? Forest ranger Thomas King is a severe dyslexic and perceived village idiot. Alone, he roams the Pine Barrens, hoping to save a failing town. Claire Wethers' children have been stolen by her ex. The former beauty queen privately drowns her fears in whiskey. Their lives appear as marginal as the bankrupt town, but when this unlikely pair merge paths, everything changes.
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When they came for Thomas King, he was asleep, locked in a fantastic dream. He was scoring the winning touchdown at Cranfield Lakes High. He’d taken the handoff, tucked the pigskin tight to his ribs, and swept to the open field. Tom knew that his long arms and legs were better suited for wide receiver than running back, but Cranlakers rose in the bleachers and cheered his glorious progress along the gridiron. It was festival season, a time etched in most memories. Beyond the goalposts, bulging ripe cranberries floated atop the bogs awaiting harvest—before the virulent fungus arrived, before the state burned the cranberry vines on a blustery October day. - from Idiot! by Christopher Klim