Samantha Latham is a little socially awkward and a lot brilliant. When she arrives at Yale, thrilled to finally escape her rural Vermont hometown called Stowe, the focused and driven Sam knows exactly what she wants: an illustrious career as a medical researcher and a relationship with her new best friend Natalie, a talented yet capricious girl who keeps Sam guessing.
Everything changes when Sam must suddenly withdraw from school to care for her invalid mother back in Vermont. Moving back to Stowe means no more brilliant career in medicine, and definitely no more Natalie. As she finds herself alone, faced with a life she never wanted, Sam slowly learns to recalibrate what she considers success, discovering the artistic side of Stowe, a community of lesbians she never imagined existed there, and a new woman who inspires Sam to rethink everything she thought she knew—especially about love.
“In this charming, leisurely romance, a young woman attempts to find love while juggling an academic career and family obligations. As Samantha Latham pursues her studies at Yale, she swiftly falls for the beautiful, mercurial Natalie, but it’s an unreciprocated affection that frustrates Sam for several years. Their friendship has its ups and downs, and they finally drift apart after Sam’s mother suffers a medical emergency that requires Sam to return home to the tiny town of Stowe, Vt. Sam has to adjust to the unexpected change in direction, chafing at small-town life and the lack of romance. Even the friendship of Maria Sanchez, a restaurant owner and former high school acquaintance, may not be enough to make up for it. Sam must let go of the past in order to appreciate what’s right in front of her. Rippon (Barring Complications) builds Sam’s world and relationships with care, conjuring up realistic, sympathetic characters and a cozy setting.” – Publisher’s Weekly Review