The Drowning

Overview

More than anything, 16-year-old Jenna wants to dance—not just in her local class, but professionally, in London, under the eyes of the best teachers in the world. But a fatal accident tears apart her life and her family. Guilty and grief-stricken, she puts all her plans on hold—until a chance meeting with someone who was there that tragic afternoon. Who is he and how can he help? What does Jenna discover that puts the accident in a new light? And will she find the courage and determination to pursue her dream? ...

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Overview

More than anything, 16-year-old Jenna wants to dance—not just in her local class, but professionally, in London, under the eyes of the best teachers in the world. But a fatal accident tears apart her life and her family. Guilty and grief-stricken, she puts all her plans on hold—until a chance meeting with someone who was there that tragic afternoon. Who is he and how can he help? What does Jenna discover that puts the accident in a new light? And will she find the courage and determination to pursue her dream? Atmospheric and thought-provoking, this beautifully written novel by Valerie Mendes has a rich understanding of families, separation, love, and friendship.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Sixteen-year-old Jenna's talent for ballet is matched only by her determination to become a star. But all is changed one fateful day when her younger brother drowns at the beach while under her supervision. Guilt-stricken and grieving, the teen quits dance and devotes all of her time to helping her father at the family restaurant. Her mother, who always favored Benjie, leaves Cornwall for London. Jenna's emotional scars begin to heal, thanks to a budding romance and the discovery of her brother's diary, which reveals just how unhappy he was. Through articulate, expressive language, the competitive world of dance and the dynamics in this dysfunctional family are well portrayed. Dealing with grief and overcoming personal tragedy are not presented in a new way, and there is no real suspense as readers wait to find out the identity of the twins or why Jenna's mother is so uncaring. The answers are too neat to be satisfying. Still, Jenna's emotions and her parents' rocky relationship are convincing. Carolyn Coman's Many Stones (Front St, 2000) is more poignant.-Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416901273
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Pages: 250
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Valerie Mendes was born in Buckinghamshire. After taking a double honors degree in English and Philosophy at Reading University, she moved to Oxford, where she still lives. She is, proudly, the mother of the theater and film director, Sam Mendes CBE. Valerie started writing stories when she was six.

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