George Vardin and his friends are typical teenagers in a small, affluent town. They seek the same goals; to make the varsity team, date a pretty girl, hang with the guys, goof around ‘til college. But George can only pretend. He doesn’t have the money or the time to play football, no pretty girl will ever date him, and his friends have no idea he’s one step away from being homeless. George hides the anxiety and the hopeless reality as he waits for his world to crash along with the leaky roof over his dilapidated house. The mind-blowing irony is that his hometown was founded by his great, great, great, great grandfather, the first George Vardin, who built the miserable cottage that’s about to implode that sits in the shadow of the magnificent mansion that the people of Vardin Village consider the crown jewel of the community. The Vardin family used to be rolling in money but George’s grandfather gave the family fortune to the village and George got nothing thanks to his alky parents.
Uncle Morris shows up with a crazy idea. The crown jewel just sits there empty all day. Why let a good mansion go to waste? Would anyone really know if George were to live in his ancestral home, just until he finishes high school? With a little help from some of the old-timers in Vardin Village, the plan works beautifully until a corrupt councilman and his bully son embark on a campaign to rid the village of its namesake son and keep the riches to themselves.
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Maggie Spence is an award winning author from Libertyville, Il.