Aslaug, homeschooled and raised wild in the rural woods of Maine, never knew who her father was. She tried asking her mother, a strange woman obsessed with plant lore and pagan religions, but the muttering odd woman took that secret to her grave. After her mother’s death, Aslaug, desperate for answers, hunts down the rest of her family, an aunt and cousins who live in the neighboring town. She hopes they will be able to tell her where she came from, but to her dismay, Aslaug discovers that in many ways her aunt’s house is just as strange as the home she just left. The secrets multiply until Aslaug doesn’t know what’s real and what is only a dream. But even as she plans her escape from the safe haven that has become her prison, the two people closest to her leave first–by dropping dead. And Aslaug is accused of their murder. As she enters the confusing and terrifying world of the legal system, the only source of comfort she has left is the Divine. But not even God may be able to help Aslaug now. This brilliant, densely written amalgamation of botany, religion, murder mystery, courtroom drama and dark family secrets is the twisted brainchild of newbie author Christina Meldrum. Now, I read a LOT of YA fiction, and this one stopped me dead in my tracks with its utter bizarreness. So if you want a challenging read that’s so far off the beaten track it’s practically in the MILKY WAY, dig up Madapple at your local library or bookstore.