Finding Tranquility Base

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Release Date: September 27, 2012
Pages: 230
ISBN13: 978-1478147817



In 1969 West Texas, sixteen-year-old Riley Pritchard’s family is altered forever after a tornado destroys their home, triggering a series of dramatic events. When the ultimate tragedy punctuates their decimated lives, each family member, from her beautiful, self-centered mother and hardworking, sentimental father to her kick-ass, air-headed older brother, grieves alone, isolated in a suffocating sadness.

In a desperate attempt to extricate herself from the pain and sorrow of a home where the walls seem to be closing in tighter every day, Riley volunteers at the local Veterans Administration hospital. There she meets Johnny, a young soldier and survivor of a helicopter crash in Vietnam who has returned home with severe burns. Together they begin to discover the redemptive and healing power of love.

A moving coming of age story about finding inner peace and fulfillment in the face of heartbreak and loss, Rebhan delivers a nuanced, captivating portrayal of blossoming adulthood. Showing remarkable felicity for time and place, she imbues her novel with the numbing desolation of West Texas as she explores the themes of self-preservation and strength amidst adversity. As engaging as it is entertaining, Finding Tranquility Base is a thought-provoking, inspiring story that will change the way you view the world all over again.


From Kirkus Reviews:

"Rebhan's debut coming-of-age novel offers a unique perspective on family secrets and public tragedies."

"Riley's ability to forgive without forgetting marks her as a strong, complex character. Overall, the author deftly portrays Riley as a person of indomitable spirit, determined to build a Tranquility Base of her own, no matter where life takes her."

"A well-crafted novel that engagingly looks at what it takes to find happiness in a world that's falling apart."


The next morning at dawn, the fragrance of wet sage and earth wafted through my open window above the side of my bed. A cool, humid breeze hit my face in successive gusts, leaving my curtains alternately swelling and sucking against the window screen. I sat up and pulled the white eyelet material back, taking a deep whiff and wrapping each cotton panel around the drapery hooks on either side of my window. On the horizon, I saw a flash of light from the north and treetops fighting to stand straight against a consuming wind current. I snuggled back down in my bed to the sound of distant rumbles and the spatter of raindrops on the sidewalk outside my window. They started slow, then grew faster and harder with each huff of air on my face. I found the scents and sounds intoxicating, and I fell asleep again before Mama’s voice, followed by a loud and much closer crash of thunder, woke me a second time.