by Lee Cole is set amidst the 2016 election, but the anxieties it deals with are personal as well as political. Owen Callahan is an aspiring writer in his 20s who has recently moved back home to live with his Trump-supporting grandfather in Kentucky, feeling stuck and unsure if he’ll ever be able to leave his depressed hometown again. Working at a nearby liberal arts college, Ashby, as a groundskeeper so that he can take writing classes for free, Owen meets the magnetic Alma Hadzic. She’s a talented and successful young writer-in-residence at Ashby, with an Ivy League education and coastal elite background that highlights the economic hardship and bone-deep conservatism of Owen’s upbringing. But, Alma is also the daughter of Bosniak Muslim refugees, with residual childhood trauma that her fiction explores. Her relationship with Owen navigates differences in class, politics, and background, all of which Cole captures with a keen eye.