July, 1974: In the fictional town of Cumberland, Georgia, fifteen-year-old twin sisters Ansel and Isabel Mackenzie have lived with their eccentric grandmother since a car accident killed their parents and paralyzed Isabel. Over the past seven years the responsibility of caring for her sister has fallen increasingly on Ansel. However, as she cultivates a romantic relationship with a local boy, as well as an artistic apprenticeship with a visiting photographer, Ansel’s growing desire for independence compromises her ability to care for her sister, threatening their sororal connection, and ultimately, Isabel’s life. Juxtaposing Ansel's traditional narrative against Isabel's poetic prose, CUMBERLAND highlights the conflicts between independence and familial duty, and the difficulty of balancing the dark draws of the body against the brighter focus of the mind.
"Cumberland... has a mythic undertone that moves the layers of the story with the rush of an incoming tide carrying deeper revelations than the characters are quite able to bear. Gannon writes with a painter’s eye and a poet’s ear, and there’s no denying that she is bringing an original vision to her readers. “
—Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife and The Weight of Dreams
"In vivid and musical prose, author Megan Gannon delivers mystery, suspense, a most unusual love triangle, and surprises that keep the pages turning as the twins’ embattled connection appears to reach the breaking point."
—Mary Helen Stefaniak, author of The Turk and My Mother and The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia
"Haunting, sensual, and captivating, Cumberland... is as poetic and moody as adolescence itself."
—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Coffins of Little Hope and The Swan Gondola
"A beautifully wrought tale about how the intricacies of our bonds can lead to the most specific betrayals... Gannon’s sentences are so full you’ll want to say them out loud just to feel them in your mouth; her poetry is at times nothing short of arresting."
—Rebecca Rotert, author of Last Night at the Blue Angel