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Sylvia Olberding
Author, Contributor
The Boy from Sullivan Bay

The Boy from Sullivan Bay is a story of tender compassion, love, reconciliation, and solidarity amidst the agonies of dysfunction, addiction, and crime.

Lindi cowers; she’s done it all her life. As a young girl, she coped in her dysfunctional family by keeping quiet, repressing herself, and never speaking up even in her own defense, all to keep the peace. She’d dreamed of getting away, someday owning a bakery, marrying the perfect man, and living a perfect life in the perfect tourist town of Sullivan Bay. That, she did, almost. She owns her bakery in Sullivan Bay and has some wonderful employees whom she regards more as family. However, that perfect man, Nick, was not so perfect and left her broken. As for Sullivan Bay, it is not immune to the opioid and drug epidemic sweeping the nation. Now, she’s back to her emotional and mental cowering, safe in her protective cocoon surrounded by her employee family until she meets Kyle.

On her way to work one early dark morning, her car’s headlights flash upon him standing in the middle of the park across from her bakery, looking startled like a deer caught in the middle of the road. Recently returned from a court-ordered rehab, Kyle is back to his old ways, striking a deal in that park that early morning. He grew up in Sullivan Bay. At the tender age of 14, he had spent a few weeks with his uncle when his parents were out of town. No one knew the depravity of this man who physically abused and trafficked Kyle to a pedophile whose face he never saw. The uncle fed him painkillers, seeding Kyle’s addiction. The promise of more drugs and threats to his family kept Kyle quiet and by the time he grew up, he was too numb to say anything. Now, his physical and emotional scars are safely insulated by his addiction until he meets Lindi,

As their relationship grows, Lindi struggles with her growing feelings for Kyle which seem to illuminate her personal weaknesses. Her employees, especially her baker, are in dismay and continuously warn her, especially when federal agents investigating a drug ring turn up asking lots of questions. She must decide whether to stand with Kyle or deny her feelings and give in to her friends’ warnings.

Kyle, unable to completely kick his habit, is presented with a deal to help the federal agents or take a chance and hope to escape arrest for possession. However, taking the deal would mean to tell all, including his secret, and risk losing his relationship with Lindi.

In the end, Lindi discovers the connection of her baker, her ex, and Kyle to the drug ring while Kyle learns of his dealer’s connection to Lindi and the identity of the man who had abused him so many years ago.  As both struggle with these newfound terrible truths, they learn how vulnerability and forgiveness lead to reconciliation and true freedom.

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