Gitte Tamar, author
Forced to move from home to home throughout his childhood, Tom’s fantasy of a family member rescuing him from the foster care system dies after several years pass without as much as a phone call. His life unexpectedly shifts in his early teens when his only remaining blood relatives, his grandparents, suddenly reappear. For the first time in his resentment-filled years of abandonment, Tom experiences a moment of optimism over moving to the family pig farm. Tom’s change in fortune should bring him happiness, but something lurking deep inside him inhibits his ability to feel contentment. No matter how hard he tries to adjust, ordinary human emotions don’t resonate in his bones, and his grandparent’s lack of understanding of his difficulties infuriates him. Tom copes by forming an unusual connection with the farm’s pig herd. The swine’s cooing oinks and soft snouts, rubbing against his skin, soothes his nerves even on the most trying days. On his eighteenth birthday, rather than give him a gift, the elderly couple lays out an ultimatum that threatens his future and the welfare of his beloved pigs. With his world collapsing around him, Tom makes an impulsive decision that changes his life forever and sets him on a path of dark self-discovery.