Greenwich Village, 1970s. Rainey Royal—fourteen years old, talented, and troubled—lives in a once-elegant, now decaying brownstone with her father, a jazz musician with a cultish personality. Her mother has abandoned the family, and Rainey fends off advances from her father's best friend while trying desperately to nurture her own creative drives and build a substitute family. She's a rebel, even a criminal, but she's also deeply vulnerable, fighting to figure out how to put back in place the boundaries her life has knocked down and, more than that, struggling to learn how to be an artist and a person in a broken world.
Rainey Royal is told in fourteen narratives of scarred and aching beauty that build into a fiercely powerful novel: the harrowing and ultimately affirming story of a young artist.