“How brave are you?”
“Well, you will be tomorrow.”
Twelve-year-old Lizzie is in trouble. She used to live a comfortable life with her loving father, but after the stock market crash of 1929 and his sudden death, she and her family now live in poverty. Lizzie is expected to help support the family, but she can’t even cook without burning food.
One day, a letter arrives. Her wealthy uncle has offered her a paying job as a summer governess for her two young cousins at a remote logging camp, so she travels alone into the wilderness of Vancouver, British Columbia. To her horror, she discovers that her uncle is missing from the camp.
Penniless and stranded, Lizzie’s worst fears are soon confirmed—she is being held hostage by the camp’s boss. “Accidents are easy to explain in the woods,” he writes in a ransom letter to her uncle. Lizzie learns that in order to survive, she will have to perform the most dangerous job at the camp—the high climber. She has one chance to save herself and return to her family. Her intelligence and bravery will be tested to the limit as she pulls on the climber harness to prove to everyone, including herself, what she is truly capable of.
CAROLINE ARDEN’s stories have appeared in The Colorado Review, The Montreal Review and New Delta Review. She was a finalist for Narrative Magazine’s “30 Below” contest and Glimmer Train Stories’ “Family Matters” and “New Writers” contests. In 2011 Caroline was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Caroline holds a BA from Harvard College and an MFA in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University. As a child Caroline spent her summers at her grandparents’ home at a former logging camp in British Columbia. She lives in Ithaca, New York with her husband and daughter.