Candy is a tough-talking California teen with a rough home life. A sarcastic stranger, Carlos, arrives to stay with the janitor’s family in Candy’s apartment building, forcing her back to the land of the living. Bear is a sweet-tempered giant of a dog, once a beloved family pet, now a junkyard dog—renamed Big and Bad—who finds himself sold to a fighting ring.
Candy’s romance with Carlos provides a sweet counterpoint to the chaos she faces every day. Candy is directionless, but Carlos’ ambition and determination inspire her, and his aunt and cousins give Candy a taste of normal family life her father can’t provide.
Candy’s and Bear’s stories intertwine only incidentally, until Candy is forced to realize that her once beloved father is not only incapable of caring for her, but is involved in the hideous business of dog fighting. Unable to rely on anyone around her, Candy faces the truth and does her best to rescue the big dog she once delivered into evil hands.
ANNA K. SCOTTI’s poetry appears in The New Yorker, and her short stories are regulars in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. She has been awarded The Orlando Prize for short fiction, the Pocataligo Prize for poetry, and the Mark Fisher Prize for poetry.