Finding her way
Cindy Dyson is a journalist who has written eight young adult novels. In And She Was, her first adult novel, Dyson calls upon her experience growing up in Alaska and successfully interweaves past and present in an engrossing story. It is 1986 and Brandy, named after the drink, is a blonde, trashy cocktail waitress incapable of making a life choice that does not involve following a man somewhere. At 31 years old, Brandy finds herself still doing what she knows best: she is headed to a remote Aleutian Island to meet her latest fling, Thad, a fisherman. While Thad is at sea, Brandy works at a dive bar and deadens her constant apathy by mixing cocaine and alcohol. Soon enough, Brandy becomes ensnared by the mysteries and tragedies of the island that have been hidden for 250 years. Through uncovering those secrets, Brandy is forced to become someone she never knew she could be: a strong woman in control of her destiny, who no longer needs to follow. Marisa Birns is a writer in New York City.