You try to ignore the whispers, but they won’t stop. The sirens outside are getting louder. You close your eyes. You want to want to go home.
Laika desperately wishes for a new life. At fourteen, she’s hardened and independent, living on the streets of Southern California. She’s finally free of her volatile home but yearns for true stability.
As Graham, a waiter at a local Russian restaurant, watches Laika steal and struggle to survive, he sees there is something else going on. Something dangerous. An insidious disease that gnaws at her mind and drags her deeper into a world of chaos and delusion.
Laika brings to light the often-shrouded world of paranoid schizophrenia. It also examines the socially stigmatized issues of homelessness, addiction, and PTSD, in the hopes of fostering greater awareness and compassion.
Advance Praise for Laika
"Laika Ephrem is a child whose world is darkness and Graham a man who has experienced some darkness of his own. A good-hearted waiter who has seen her stealing food to survive, he knows she’s in trouble and he only wants to help. But, Laika’s problems are much deeper than finding her next meal, and helping her may be more than Graham can handle. As Laika’s tenuous grasp on reality begins to loosen, and the voices in her head urge her toward destruction, Graham must convince her that what she thinks is real is merely an illusion before time runs out.
"In this brilliantly conceived and executed novel, Kort takes her readers into a distorted world where fear and paranoia overwhelm reality. With compassion, honesty, and startling clarity, she convincingly portrays a terrifying affliction and reminds us that human beings dwell behind numbers and statistics and they deserve to have their stories heard."
—Cynthia A. Graham, author of Beulah's House of Prayer, Beneath Still Waters, and Behind Every Door