Marketing VP Alex Whitmore is an ambitious (albeit manic) “Super Woman” who was just getting used to the idea of settling in to an empty nest with the husband she feels she no longer knows. But when her 20-year-old daughter, Skylar, drops out of college and Alex’s father has a debilitating stroke, life becomes more frenzied than ever. To top it off, what she thought was the beginning of menopause is actually a pregnancy – completely unexpected at the age of 44. As she straddles the multiple stages of life (with less grace than she’d like to admit), Alex is pulled the most by her wayward daughter, whose troubles she can trace back to one, life-changing event: a school shooting that claimed the lives of three friends and neighbors.
When Skylar disappears for long stretches, Alex and her husband are sure she’s back into drugs. Instead, they find her lying in a field near their house, staring up at the clouds – an odd form of escapism that eventually Alex, herself, can’t resist. If only Alex could see what her daughter sees.
Told from dual perspectives of mother and daughter, Cloudspotting is a novel-in-progress that pits the frenetic nature of modern-day family life, in which it’s easy to forget what really matters, against the devastating reality of a world that teaches harsh lessons about how quickly it can be taken away. Grounded by the dispiriting memory of the decade-old school shooting, the story captures a woman whose sense of humor keeps her afloat amid a string of chaotic life challenges, and her daughter, who wonders why her life was spared.