A Cat McCloud Book. A coming-of-age thriller like never before. Magical realism meets suburban gothic humor in the lakeside town of White Rock. Fish heads are nailed to the trees, a killer lurks under the muck, and the bare lips of one girl must never touch the bare lips of another. But oddball Cat McCloud falls in love with the new girl and is sucked into a maelstrom of witchcraft, time-travel, and adolescent passion.
Dee-dee Morton, the new girl, breaks rules, concocts magic, and owns an ancient mummy. Cat is smitten. Coaxed by spellbinding Dee-dee, Cat ventures to the far edges of White Rock, finding cracks in the middle-class perfection and wildness on the far side of Little Rose Lake. Rusty barbed wire rises from the sand, a poison pen stuffs mailboxes with venom, and ancient yellowed letters of love and murder emerge from the spidery cracks, exposing the town’s bloody past.
The Ouija board warns, STOP MEDDLING IN WHAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. But Cat and Dee-dee dive deeper into risky adventures: shoplifting, potion brewing, taboo embraces. One hot August sleepover, between sips of liqueur and readings of Sappho, something horrific occurs down in Dee-dee’s basement. As the shadow of the Midwestern winter advances, an ancient curse molders under the ice as an old beast grows ever-larger. Come summer, Cat must face the beast and undo the ancient curse—or die in the deepest waters of Little Rose.
The Chalk Canoe, Heidi Arneson’s darkly-comic prequel to her suburban gothic thriller, Interlocking Monsters, explores in rich and luxurious prose the tangible and mythical forces at work in Cat’s quest to live beyond her hilariously imaginative adolescence. Arneson’s driving humor and skillful suspense propel her shy heroine into natural catastrophes, forbidden love, and the enchanted underbelly of suburbia, where death waits around every corner.
“A magic garden of uncanniness” Author Jon Spayde, How to Believe
“Beautifully vivid, passionate and heartbreaking” Author Jenna Zark, The Beat on Ruby’s Street
“Color me bedazzled” Journalist Noel Holston, Like the Dew
"Heidi Arneson's prose is graphic and striking. She builds suspense, and explores sexuality and standards of normality with incisive humor, revealing the narrator Cat's most secret thoughts and desires, and tackling serious teenage issues." Tessa Bridal, Author, The Tree of Red Stars and River of Painted Birds