When a group of social activists arrive in a small town, the lives and beliefs of residents and outsiders alike are upended, in this wry, embracing novel.
Big Burr, Kansas, is the kind of place where everyone seems to know everyone, and everyone shares the same values-or keeps their opinions to themselves. But when a national nonprofit labels Big Burr "the most homophobic town in the US" and sends in a task force of queer volunteers as an experiment-they'll live and work in the community for two years in an attempt to broaden hearts and minds-no one is truly prepared for what will ensue.
Furious at being uprooted from her life in Los Angeles and desperate to fit in at her new high school, Avery fears that it's only a matter of time before her "gay crusader" mom outs her. Still grieving the death of her son, Linda welcomes the arrivals, who know mercifully little about her past. And for Christine, the newcomers are not only a threat to the comforting rhythms of Big Burr life, but a call to action. As tensions roil the town, cratering relationships and forcing closely guarded secrets into the light, everyone must consider what it really means to belong. Told with warmth and wit, Under the Rainbow is a poignant, hopeful articulation of our complicated humanity that reminds us we are more alike than we'd like to admit.
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Celia Laskey has written an excellent, big-hearted, and very funny novel about our contemporary divisions and grievances. Under the Rainbow is wonderfully current, yet it refuses to sacrifice love or empathy to politics, it refuses despair and destruction. Those of us who moved away from the rural places where we were born will recognize every one of her remarkable characters, and find in their braided stories incredible pathos and joy.
Shannon Pufahl, author of On Swift Horses
About the Narrators
Will Damron has won several Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has had acting roles off-Broadway and on stage and screen throughout the country.
Dan Bittner is an actor and voice talent and winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards for audio narration. He has starred on stage and on the screen, in movies such as Men in Black, Adventureland, and the Producers: The Movie Musical. He has also appeared onstage as Macbeth and Sherlock Holmes in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Kaleo Griffith is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and classically trained actor. He graduated cum laude from Franklin Pierce University with a BA in theater, holds an MFA in acting from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has appeared in such television series as Law & Order and Reggie’s Family & Friends, among others.
Lorna Raver, named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year, has received numerous Audie Award nominations and many AudioFile Earphones Awards. She has appeared on stage in New York, Los Angeles, and regional theaters around the country. Among her many television credits are NYPD Blue, Judging Amy, Boston Legal, ER, and Star Trek. She starred in director Sam Raimi’s film Drag Me to Hell.
Abigail Revasch is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and an actress. She has starred in television shows such as 7th Heaven and ER and has narrated numerous video games and commercials, as well as audiobooks. She holds a BA in theater arts from Northwestern University.
Jonathan Todd Ross is a writer and an Earphones and Audie Award–winning voice actor. He has lent his voice to numerous anime television shows, including Yu-Gi-Oh! and Sonic X.
Kristen Sieh is a voice and television actress. She has appeared on such television shows as Law & Order and Boardwalk Empire. She has also narrated several audio books.
Phoebe Strole is an actress and an Earphones Award–winning narrator who was a finalist in 2014 for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in drama. She has appeared on Broadway in Spring Awakening and in various films and television series, including Hamlet 2, 30 Rock, Glee, and Rescue Me.