One day, Angie Voorster — diligent student, all-star swimmer, and Ivy League-bound high school senior — dives to the bottom of a pool and stays there. In that moment, everything the Voorster family believes they know about one another changes. Set in a small town in New Hampshire, Halfway House is the story of Angie's psychotic break and her family's subsequent turmoil. Each of her family members responds differently to the ongoing crisis: Her father Pieter, a professional cellist, retreats further into his music; her mother begins a destabilizing affair with a younger man; her younger brother, Luke, first pushes away from her then later drops out of college to be closer to her. Though the Voorsters manage for a time to maintain a semblance of the normalcy they had "before," it is not until Angie is finally able to fend for herself that the family is able to truly fall apart and then regather itself in a new, fundamentally changed way. With grace and precision rarely seen in a first novel, Noel guides readers through a world where love is imperfect, and where longing for an imagined ideal can both destroy one family's happiness and offer redemption.