Previously published (2014) Amazon.com. In 1973, Gabby Duncan is on track to escape her hometown of Haven Ridge, Pennsylvania. Gifted with a college scholarship and slated to be co-valedictorian, she’s cutting ties and backing away from most of her friendships except for Max, Steve, and Tony, three neighborhood boys who have been part of her life for as long as she can remember. Gabby’s last few months of high school should be easy, but she gets derailed when her academic rival decides to be the only valedictorian and sets out to make the rest of Gabby’s senior year a living hell. Gabby could handle that, but her English teacher has just given the class a major assignment: write an essay about the watershed moment in their lives. The last thing Gabby wants to do is relive the summer of 1967, when she rode her bike and played an invented game called Imaginary House. That blissful summer came to an end when her rival and personal nemesis went missing and Gabby’s first love was accused of the crime.
Now Gabby winds her way through that summer, remembering things she’d rather forget, particularly one memory she fears bringing to light. As she revisits her past, she’s forced to remember how her perceptions of life fell apart, how her trust in people evaporated, and how the thrill of young love died before it had a chance to blossom. She also must face why she clings so closely to her three male friends and why bad-boy Tony makes her feel things she’d rather not feel. She’ll discover what she already knows: that most people live in imaginary houses and lead imaginary lives that hold very little outward truth and often a great deal of pain.