All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Kerry Madden-Lunsford

Advisory Committee Members

James Braziel

Kyle Grimes

Lauren Slaughter

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) School of Engineering


Twins, Evie and Mel, lost their mother before their senior year of high school. The girls’ father deploys overseas to escape his grief, leaving them with an aunt they barely know to go through this painful grieving process alone in a new town. They are in constant conflict with each other due to how they cope with this unexpected upturn of their lives. Evie choses to remain optimistic, believing she will get through this and things will turn out for the better. While Mel choses to close herself off from her family, turning instead to a pen pal to maintain her sanity. This thesis engages with the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with loss as reflected within this military family. There is no right or wrong way to react or feel in a situation when your life is changed suddenly, which is reflected in how these two girls treat of each other. I want readers to see these two in conflict with each other mixed with moments when they feel as close they had in the past. This way, they are able to slowly find themselves as individuals and while learning they can still lean on one another as family when needed. My decision to write this novel came from wanting to express some of the frustrations that are associated with a military lifestyle. While I have not experienced some of the loss these characters have, I do know what it means to have an absentee parent. Though it had not been by choice, but because of their job that they were kept from us during a crucial time in my life. I have gone between these two coping methods during my childhood as I grew up. For this reason, I feel that readers can connect with at least one of these two sisters, from their arrival to this new town to their first day at another new school. My hope is that readers would come away from this work feeling that they don’t have to don’t have to look far for someone who understands what you’re feeling.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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