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Nora Gaskin – The Worst Thing

May 19, 2018   |   2:00 pm

When Kellah Mace’s parents are killed in an accident—when Kellah is fifteen years old—she overhears someone say, “She’ll go through life knowing the worst thing has already happened.” Numb from loss and grief, Kellah takes these words to mean she need fear nothing. Only one thing can hurt her again: the loss of someone else she loves.
The Worst Thing begins with the intense friendship of Kellah and Angel, forged on the window ledge outside of their rooms at boarding school—and in the mirror during a hair-cut makeover.

After high school, these intrepid young women move to an apartment in the city. Angel jumps into a modeling career and her allure is not lost on the world—she’s suddenly, it seems, everywhere. While Angel is at late night parties and photo shoots, Kellah finds the college library her refuge, until Albert shows up.

Albert Darwin, called Ape by acquaintances, has a story of his own. He was a frightened little boy, grown up to be a desperate man. As he becomes a computer repairman, he muses, how stupid people think the worst thing might happen when they hit their computer reset button. Living off the grid, often invisible, often lurking on the Internet, Albert’s single-mindedness brings new meaning to “the worst thing.”

With fascinating contemporary realism, Gaskin’s novel The Worst Thing turns commonplace objects from young lives— selfies, cellphones, Google maps, glossy magazines, vintage fashion, haircuts, and ponytails— into elements of suspense.


Nora Gaskin is the author of two previous books: Time of Death: The True Tale of a Quest for Justice in 1960s Chapel Hill, and a mystery, based on a true crime, Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts. As the founder, editor, and publisher of Lystra Books (an eclectic and growing publisher, based in Chapel Hill, NC), Gaskin has stewarded 23 books into publication.

Add to that resume her editing byline for Carolina Crimes: 21 Tales of Need, Greed, and Dirty Deeds, a terrific collection of stories set in North Carolina and South Carolina, with an introduction by Jeffery Deaver, published in 2017 by Down & Out Books.

On the heels of Carolina Crimes, Gaskin brings her most creative endeavor to date: the captivating, realistic, and brilliantly provocative novel The Worst Thing.