From bestselling author Kim Wozencraft comes the story of a young mother at war on two fronts: first as a soldier in Afghanistan and then upon her return to rural Granite County, New York, where one terrible mistake threatens her family and her sanity.
Erin Hill enlists in the Army Reserve in an act of desperation. She and her husband have both lost their jobs and their marriage is disintegrating. Assured that the odds of deployment are extremely low, Erin now finds herself on an Army base in the middle of a combat zone, where it’s sometimes hard to tell who the enemy is, especially when a respected Sergeant turns predator. When Erin returns stateside and reunites with her family, battle for survival truly begins. Flooded with traumatic memories with no prospects for jobs or treatment for PTSD, her husband involved with a new woman, Erin falls into the bottle head-first. After a nearly fatal night of despair, she is swept up into a vast and indifferent bureaucracy that threatens to take her children from her— forever. Neglect is a profound story of motherly love.
“Don’t even try to look away from this incandescently furious chronicle of a woman’s return from hell.”
Read the Kirkus review.
I finished Neglect on a late summer afternoon, stunned and weeping. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so moved, been so deeply a part of the fraught intricate lives of characters whom I have come to know almost as well as I know myself. And love. Neglect is so beautifully written, so tightly stitched, that time after time I read a sentence that I wanted to transcribe and keep forever. Wozencraft paid close attention to her people, to whom attention must be paid. Thank you, Kim Wozencraft.
—Abigail Thomas, Author of Safekeeping and A Three Dog Life
Which is worse, the trauma of being in the middle of war or the trauma of coming home to a world you don’t feel you belong in anymore? Wozencraft’s unmoored young mother, battling PTSD from her horrific time in Afghanistan, makes a terrible mistake, getting herself embroiled with a child custody system that is as chaotic as the battlefield. Gripping, provocative, gorgeously written–and at its heart, so so moving because it’s about love at its most fierce.
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You
Kim Wozencraft has been covering the morning-after nightmare portion of the American Dream since her fearless bestseller, RUSH. In Neglect we see her talent sharpened, matured, even more powerful and no less intrepid: this is a story of post-modern, ex-urban American desperation and dysfunction, addiction and violence, evils passed from the top of the society down to the ever expanding bottom like so much poisoned candy to children. This world, people scrambling to survive the onslaught of no hope and mindless bureaucracy, is where other writers in more comfortable places don’t wish to look: Wozencraft looks, and tells the story of her heroine, Erin Hill, with heart, with flawless clean prose and with an unfailing eye for the small details of all our daily struggles to carry on. Erin’s fall will make you mad and it will move you; her hard-edged redemption will remind you that even in the toughest times we never stop longing for virtue and we never stop looking for, and living for, love. This is an important book.
– Vince Passaro, author of Crazy Sorrow
An ambitious, prescient, wise page-turner, Neglect turns on an educated, underemployed Upstate New York mother who crashes and burns through the social safety net. Out of financial hardship, she enlists in the Army Reserve only to be deployed to Afghanistan in 2015. Traumatized by multiple wartime experiences, she returns home with PTSD, turns to the bottle and becomes entangled with the social service bureaucracy that separates her from the very thing in the world she loves most – her twins. The chilling and empathetic novel about America’s neglect of the working middle class is an indictment of the Kafkaesque institutions that, through red tape and apathy, have neglected rural America’s dispossessed
—Thelma Adams, bestselling author of The Last Woman Standing
As timely as tomorrow, Neglect is a runaway train with a great conductor. Kim Wozencraft crafts a story of motherly love, PTSD, the war in Afghanistan, and how one wrong move can change everything.
—Martha Frankel, Author, and Director of the Woodstock Bookfest
A powerhouse of a book from a truly great author, Neglect has it all: Grit, drama, action, heart, and characters so multi-faceted and real, you feel as though you know them. Don’t miss it.
—Alison Gaylin, USA Today and international bestselling author of The Collective
Find out more about Kim’s other novels.