It was a young girl on the streets of Eugene, Oregon who haunted Cyndi Sand Eveland eventually leading to her new book, A Tinfoil Sky.
“There was an incident about six years ago where we were driving through Eugene, Oregon,” said Sand Eveland. “I saw this really young girl and she was crouched down beside this man who was holding this cardboard sign and the sign said something about father with daughter.”
There was something about the young girl that stuck with Sand Eveland for two years before she began crafting the book.
“She was watching the cars approach and if you made eye contact with her she would jump out, put her hand out for coins and go back,” she said. “When she did that to us, she said ‘Thank you,’ and I looked in her eyes and saw that something about this kid said ‘I am way more than my circumstance.’ It was haunting.”
At the heart of the story is 12-year-old Mel, for whom home is a constantly shifting.
When custody is awarded to Mel’s bitter, angry grandmother, Mel hopes for sanctuary, but finds in the library.
Homelessness is only one of the main themes of A Tinfoil Sky.
It was the roles of some key characters that reinforced the importance of intergenerational relationships.
“You meet these people in your life. I’ve met people in my life who are sometimes twice or three times my age who were very influential and that’s what happens for Mel too,” said Sand Eveland. “[A character] reminds her of who she is, and who she was as a child.”