Manmade Constellations Captive Fireflies and Refinery Lights
A modern-day love story that explores childhood trauma, the boundaries between idealism and self-righteousness, and the heartaches we must confront in order to chart our courses forward. Lo Gunderson feels trapped in her small midwestern hometown until she sees an ad for a free car in the local paper. To maintain her staunch anticapitalist values, she refuses to spend money on what she can find for free, so this car is the perfect ticket out of the town. Though it doesn’t cost any money, it still comes with a price. Blanche Peterson is dying and asks for a single favor—that Lo track down her estranged son, whom Blanche hasn’t seen in over a decade. Before she can decide whether to fulfill Blanche’s dying wish, she needs to get the car started. She’s helped by John Blank, a Southern auto mechanic who moved up north for a fresh start. Despite vastly different backgrounds, they share an electrifying mutual attraction that threatens to upend Lo’s carefully constructed worldview. Meanwhile, Blanche’s son, Jason, finds himself adrift after an argument with his girlfriend. Memories of his negligent mother and the death of his father resurface for the first time in years as he travels across the country searching for what comes next. Manmade Constellations is a smart, magnetic, and emotional novel dedicated to the American landscape, exploring how taking to the open road teaches lessons that can’t be learned at home.