Kaya, who is adopted and multiracial, has just been released from a Youth Detention Centre and is carrying a painful secret: she was sexually abused by a neighbor for years. Kaya keeps away, repeatedly disappearing into a life of sex work and addiction. Meanwhile, her sister, Beth, uses food and a rediscovered love of magic tricks to escape her own troubles. Though both girls struggle through darkness and pain, they eventually find their way towards a moment of illumination and healing.
This powerful YA novel is rooted in the tragic life of the author s sister, Sarah-a victim of serial killer Robert Pickton and the subject of Maggie de Vries s Governor General s Literary Award-nominated memoir for adults, Missing Sarah. Sarah s experiences as an abused child and teen runaway inspired the character Kaya, and she appears in the story when Kaya meets her on the streets. Set in 1998, Vancouver s missing women form a subtle backdrop for the story."