Rapeseed is an unusual coming-of-age story about an extraordinary woman, her bright and quirky teenage son, and their family -- because families mature and come of age too. Carolann Cooper is a synesthete with blended senses. She sees her letters and numbers and turbulent memories in color. Her family's move from small town Kansas to London cracks open her complicated history and exposes secrets she's been keeping with her husband -- and from him as well -- just as her son begins to enjoy new and dangerous freedoms abroad. Carolann must urgently figure out who she really is to reconcile her past with her family's future. Rapeseed is a multi-colored, cross-cultural novel of fine contemporary fiction.
What other readers have said...
A colorful, cross-cultural novel of synesthesia, moving abroad, and self-discovery, Rapeseed was named a finalist for Book of the Year in General Fiction by Foreword Reviews.
"A tender and evocative novel about the slippery nature of home and inheritance, an unflinching but ultimately hopeful examination of the sneaky distances that form between neighbors, between sisters, between husband and wife, and child and parent. Nancy Freund writes with authority and charm." -- Nick Dybek, author of When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man
"Nancy Freund's Rapeseed is a rich portrait of an American family beset by displacement -- by history, by geography, and psychology, from relatives and nations and individual minds. Yet in their struggles to remain true to where they come from while making the most of where they are, her expatriate family, the Coopers, are in so many ways like all of us, and we are lucky to have their example in the form of this smart, sharply observed debut." -- Steve Himmer, author of The Bee-loud Glade
"In her debut novel Rapeseed, Nancy Freund explores the phenomenon of synesthesia and manages to delight all of our senses with her vibrant prose. As Freund weaves and unravels the secrets of an American family living abroad in England, she takes care to consider the many ways a parent can not only harm but also save a child. Rapeseed is a novel of resilience and heart, of teenaged indiscretions and marital discontentment. With humor and reverence, Freund's characters strive to reconcile their childhood traumas with their adult longings. This moving portrayal of a family in crisis reveals Nancy Freund to be a writer of boundless compassion."