English major Nora Plowright stares at college graduation as if at the edge of a cliff. So with virtually no experience, she decides to become a newspaper reporter—which you could do in 1978! After that, all hell breaks loose.
Although fearful by nature, Nora finds herself investigating corruption at the Maryland State Highway Authority regarding the controversial placement of a major highway. The developing scandal, with its shady “players,” tests both her budding reportorial skills and her appetite for danger. On top of that, almost from the outset, Nora wrestles with sticking to the facts—or at least coming close.
This honest and humorous coming-of-age novel is about making it in the world of journalism, and about finding one’s way in the real world. It is a story of old-world journalism, when a reporter used road atlases, did research at the library, and looked up numbers in phone books. It is also about a young, inexperienced woman thrust into the world of male politicians, businessmen, and bureaucrats. As a book about writing, it explores the shadings between objective fact and subjective reality. And it is about grappling with love, religious identity, and independence from one’s parents. Finally, it is about the “stories” we’ve been told about ourselves that hold us back, stories that must be challenged in order for us to grow.