Barbara L. Clanton is a native New Yorker who left those “New York minutes” for the slower-paced palm-tree-filled life in Orlando, Florida. She currently teaches mathematics at a college preparatory school in the Orlando area. When she’s not teaching, playing softball, tiling her floors, or evicting possums from the engine block of her RV, “Dr. Barb” plays bass guitar in a local band called The Flounders with her partner who plays the drums. Her ultimate dream is to one day snowbird between upstate New York and central Florida.
Susie Torres is a second-semester senior who has devoted friends and an amazing girlfriend in Marlee McAllister. Susie’s father has the kind of job that takes him away from home on frequent business trips, but lately his trips seem to be longer and more frequent. Tensions rise at home when Susie’s mother challenges him about that. At first, Susie and her younger brother Miguel hide out in her room when their parents’ frequent squabbles elevate to out-and-out yelling matches. But as her parents war escalates further, Susie finds other ways to escape the tension. A fake ID becomes a clear and easy way to anesthetize herself with alcohol. Her crumbling home life becomes momentarily forgotten whenever she swims in a sea of peaceful drunken bliss. Unfortunately, Susie doesn’t realize that with her attempts to cope with her parents’ possible divorce, she is alienating everyone around her. Including Marlee. Her best friend Sam tries to warn her that her excessive drinking is driving away all of her friends, but Sam’s well-meaning advice isn’t heard. Will Susie finally realize that it is her own actions that are making her life fall apart around her? That her new love of drinking is getting in way of everything that was good in her life? That her amazingly patient girlfriend isn’t going to put up with much more?