Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dark Water by Laura McNeal

This book was recommended to me by the CCBC at a recent library conference and I've been consuming it over my lunch breaks and other free time. Yes, it's good. The story is about 15 year old Pearl Dewitt, who lives with her mother in Fallbrook, California where her uncle owns a grove of 900 avocado trees. Uncle Hoyt hires migrant workers regularly, but Pearl finds one of the workers particularly appealing. Amiel.
From the moment she sees him, she is drawn to his dramatic and mysterious ways; a young man who appears to be mute yet seems to know so much. As Pearl and Amiel get to know one another, the two fall into a forbidden romance that makes the basic plot of the book.
Then wildfires strike in California and Pearl has to make a decision whether to warn Amiel or not--as his family doesn't own a television or radio. As Pearl slips away from the safety of her family and heads towards Amiel's hut, she gets caught in the crossfire.
This is a haunting novel and beautifully crafted. Highly recommended for lovers of good writing, a bit of romance, and most importantly, a well-told story.

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