Bats is an unlikely love story set in a small New England town.
It is the tale of misfits of differing sizes and shapes.
Jean Woodland has lived her entire life in Derby but never quite fit in. Socially awkward, she has always been an outsider, unable or unwilling to identify with her neighbors or her students.
Mylo, the handsome guy who bags groceries at the local market, lives on the margins of society in a residence for disabled adults. Disarmingly friendly and kind, he makes Jean feel distinctly uncomfortable, but she finds his deep-seated desire to help impossible to deflect.
Then there are the bats.
Discoveries follow. A bat colony on the brink of extinction. A land development company with fifty more houses to build. The thrill of activism. Next-door neighbors whose livelihood depends on the development. Raising three children, the family have enough problems. A town grapples with the forces of development and conservation. Jean discovers feelings she never knew she had.
Daring to do something amazing, Jean and Mylo embark on a road trip in a vintage Airstream. What begins with a sense of promise, quickly degenerates into something neither can navigate.
Cathie Smith Keenan served in the Peace Corps in (Afghanistan 1970-72) owned a weekly newspaper in Southern California and worked as a clinical social worker in community mental health. She lives in New England with her husband and no dog.