Marcella Pixley delves into mental illness, AIDS, bullying, and family dysfunction in a beautifully written story of people finding glimmers of hope, love, and connection that may yet save them. Not everyone is going to want to give all this darkness real estate in their mind, and not everyone will find enough joy to sustain them in lines like "We need to celebrate being together on this special day. Make some good memories before things get hard again." But Trowbridge Road offers moments of lyrical beauty as two bullied kids of 1983 befriend each other, and triumphant delight, however fleeting, in the deep acceptance of those who love you. As here, when Nana Jean comforts Ziggy, who's just been bullied for his long hair and Return of the Jedi T-shirt:
"'What if I take you downtown today and we get your hair cut and maybe buy you some new clothes?' Nana Jean asked.
"'I don't want new clothes,' said Ziggy. 'And for your information, all magical beings have long hair. If I cut my hair, I won't be able to teleport anymore.'
"'Is that so?' said Nana Jean.
"'Yes,' said Ziggy. 'It is.'
"Nana Jean smiled at him with her eyes so full with love, it almost broke my heart. 'Well, come on then,' she said. 'Let's finish our lunch and try to forget about them. You and me, we are way too fine to let small-minded folks like that bother us.'"