Date of Award


Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Rick Bass

Second Advisor

Katherine Larson

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


This thesis is the beginning of a novel about Libby Bucklin, a young woman who lives in a small, coastal-Maine town with her father and nine-year-old sister, Jude. Libby has recently graduated from high school and is preparing to leave for college when her father is killed in an automobile accident. While reeling from the loss, Libby learns that her mother is set to be released from prison after serving an eight year sentence for attempted murder. Libby must decide what is best for her and safest for Jude, which results in a battle for legal guardianship of Jude between Libby and her mother. What follows is a story that deals with the weight of grief and familial obligations as well as the effects of mental illness and female incarceration.


This is a record is restricted to USM access only.