I’ll admit, when I read the description of Local Girl Swept Away by Ellen Wittlinger on teenreads.com, I pictured a somewhat different story. The summary began “They are four best friends who’ve shared joy and secrets, love and memories, and since the beginning, Lorna was the one who held them all together”. In my head, that sentence conjured up memories of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a series which my childhood friends and I had enjoyed greatly. Obviously, as the summary continued, the book described clearly wouldn’t be as light hearted as the Sisterhood series, as it deals with the circumstances of the presumed drowning of Lorna and how the three surviving friends cope with their grief and questions about Lorna’s death. When I read the teenreads summary, I assumed that all of the survivors were female, which probably lead to my connecting it with the Sisterhood series, but it was enough to strike my interest and for me to seek out the title on Goodreads – at which point, I found something even better than what I originally expected.
Local Girl Swept Away
By Ellen Wittlinger
Publication Date: June 15, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads)
Stark, uncompromising, seductive, beautiful – this describes the tourist town of Cape Cod, where a young woman’s body remains to be found. Three friends struggle to come to terms with their missing leader and with the secrets each endeavor to hide.
Set in the Cape Cod village of Provincetown, Massachusetts, this is the story about 17-year-old Jackie’s struggle to overcome her grief and confusion after her best friend is carried out to sea during a storm. Lorna had been the dynamic leader of a tight-knit group of four friends – Jackie, Lucas and Finn – and her disappearance changes the dynamics between the surviving three. Jackie is still hiding her feelings for Finn, who had been Lorna’s boyfriend, and Lucas has withdrawn to the point where Jackie wonders if he is keeping a secret even larger than her own. Meanwhile the future looms, and Jackie fears leaving the only life she has known.
Why I’m Waiting:
This story seems to be less about Lorna the Leader and more about Jackie, the best friend with conflicted feelings. As the friendship dynamics shift, I’m interested to see how certain suspenseful twists build and questions start to arise. Did Lorna fall? Was she pushed? Did she jump? Or is Lorna even really gone at all? I suspect that there’s loads of potential for this story in the mysteries that surround Lorna’s death. Will this group of friends support each other through their grief or will their secrets tear them apart?
Also, I have to give a major shout out to Ellen Wittlinger. She’s essentially living my dream. If you read her bio, you’ll find out that Ellen was once a children’s librarian, and now, she has several award-winning novels under her belt. The idea behind this blog’s name – Among the Authors – is that I adore my job as a Youth Services librarian, but that I also hope to one day have my own books published and shelved among the authors I admire on the library’s shelves. Congratulations, Ellen, I can’t wait to check this one out!