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Grisamore: First Look

I left Brattleboro in mid-October. It was early morning when I pulled away from the small Vermont streets I’d grown up on, well before the sun had a chance to cast its rays over the gold and red leaves covering our hills and valleys, and it would be another two hours before the first light of morning brightened the sky. For now, I was alone on a long highway, my headlights cutting through the dark just enough to let me see where I was going, but not enough to let me reminisce on what I was leaving behind.

My Kia was packed to the brim, the back seat with precious treasures deemed too fragile, or too important, to be left in the care of the moving company, and the trunk with boxes of clothes, an air mattress, and other essentials I’d need for my first night in Tennessee. The passenger seat contained my laptop, and on top of that, a plain red folder. Carefully sprawled across the center was one word: Grisamore.

Grisamore, although I hadn’t known it at the time, was destined to become a catalyst for my entire life–a turning point, separating the before from the after. Had I known, in that moment, what awaited me, I may very well have turned my car around, rushing back to the safe, if complacent, life I’d always taken for granted.

*Excerpt from Grisamore, by Margo Upson.