At the start of Katie Arnold-Ratliff's debut novel, Bright Before Us, a 25-year-old teacher takes his second-grade class to a beach in San Francisco. It's a field trip. With discoveries. “The children are afraid,” writes Arnold-Ratliff, who'll appear at Green Apple Books on Friday. “Unexpected events frighten them. But they look at the man and they are, in a small way, put at ease. They look at him and think, He's our teacher. And then they hear him scream.” Yes, there will be discoveries. A downward spiral of discoveries.
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