“I understood the way this little insular town worked, but I knew it wasn’t how the rest of the world was. Bremen would not survive. Once the cruel machinations of the larger world took notice, it wouldn’t tolerate such an aberration. Bremen would be washed away. Maybe not this flood, maybe not the next one, but soon.”
Connor has experienced more loss and tragedy than any eleven-year old should. In the summer of 1991, a flooded road forces Connor and his father to spend a weekend in Bremen, a picturesque, isolated town at the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Connor’s sadness starts to dissipate when he meets a girl named Jori, the only other kid in the entire town. But what begins as a coming-of-age story soon grows into something larger and stranger as the town of Bremen begins to reveal its secrets. Connor’s determination to come to grips with the tragedies of reality is complicated by the townspeople’s casual acceptance of a more magical-- and dangerous-- ontology. Stalked by lions, haunted by ghosts, and dealing with a quickly unraveling system of beliefs, Connor must decide if it’s better to stay sheltered by fantasy or learn to fight his way through the crueler but more tangible world.