A Company of Tatters
by Jack Beltane
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Six friends are trying to survive the last year of high school. Everything they’ve been aiming for their whole lives is finally here: Close friends, steady dates, and above all else, graduation day. What they failed to consider is that finishing school also means something else: Growing up.
Take Sammy, a shy skate rat who finally got a real girlfriend. Everything was going great until their relationship meant their circles of friends also had to get along. Now he’s got to hold on to his girlfriend and prevent what happened to his parents from happening to him.
Or take Jack, one of the few friends Sammy’s ever had. Jack finally met the most perfect girl of all, but will the echoes of his past derail a relationship that may well end in marriage (if you can even think of such things when you’re eighteen)?
Meanwhile, Jack’s best friend in the world, Tobie—who’s not his girlfriend, he’s quite sure—is the only one of them who feels the end before it arrives, after she loses the farmhouse she grew up in and has to move to a condo in town. For her, moving house means moving on, into an uncertain future without her friends.
All of which makes sense to Ally, who only moved to town the year before. A skate betty and emotional recluse, she’s had a different school for almost every grade because of her dad’s job. Now she has to weigh the wisdom of allowing herself to get close to her new friends even though she knows from experience that once she leaves, she’ll never see them again.
On the plus side, adulthood hasn’t quite happened yet, leaving plenty of time to fall in love, get hurt, skate, party, and hopefully last long enough to make it to college in the first damn place.
Jack Beltane’s novels are not love stories, exactly, because they’re full of mistakes and heartbreak. They’re stories about people and how people interact with each other and how people so very often screw up. Masterfully weaving fiction from facts (“to protect the innocent”), Beltane’s novels blur the line between story and memoir to create books that are as much about what did happen as they are about what should have happened or could have happened.
Jack Beltane grew up in a suburban hell north of Cincinnati. After college he moved to a suburban hell near Cleveland to be with his wife. Jack believes in dreams, ghosts, and the therapeutic power of a good rock show. Jack scrapes by on what an English major can buy these days. Jack likes dogs best. Visit Jack at http://jackofbells.com