TITLE: A DIFFERENT WINTER
GENRE: Literary YA
Rebecca pulled open the sliding glass door and a rush of heat washed over her. Stepping outside, she closed the door and leaned over the balcony railing. Guitar music filtered from below, almost obliterated by the hiss of sand pulled to sea by the surf. A far cry from the strident guitar licks of Vietnam War protest rock that blared from her sister's stereo back at home, these dulcet classical notes crept into her psyche with soothing, exotic sweetness.
She closed her eyes and concentrated on the rhythm of waves and music, if only to drown out the sound of her parents arguing behind her.
Inside the apartment, her father's low voice intersected her mother's shrill protests. Somewhere in the mix, Rebecca heard the words, "New start," and "Time to think."
She wished they wouldn't fight, not just before Dad had to continue on to Algeria. Who knew when they'd see him again - weeks, months?
His habit of disappearing for ages seemed to have little effect on Rebecca's little brother Michael and her older sister Lori. Rebecca tended to count each day until Dad's return. Unannounced, he'd blow back into the house like a fresh breeze, often accompanied by smiles and exotic gifts from afar. Lori would fill him in on her current crushes, and Michael inevitably asked if Daddy had anything interesting in his pockets.
At times Rebecca imagined Dad wasn't a project manager, but really a spy with obscure missions in dangerous, faraway places.