The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Before I begin with my review, I want to thank the author, Kerry Kletter, for writing this much-needed book with all the truth and veracity between those covers, from the sun to the surf and every word in between.
It's not easy to take a journey like this one, especially one that includes drowning. It's the kind of slow, methodical unraveling that happens when parents coax their child away from the safety of the pool edge, because they believe that child is somehow ready to be out in the middle of it all, when in fact, they are not ready. Not even close. Also, there are no kick boards to use to avoid drowning, or anything really. And that's the moment the reader realizes he's out there with no land in sight, and no one watching, and that's when the tug downward begins, the insistance that the drowning is going to happen, one way or another. It's more than inevitability or destiny, as if one could ascribe purpose to the undertow, it's tenacious maw, the relentless pursuit. That is what Kletter delivers with her effortless and exquisite words, the ability to place us out there in the ocean and actually want to discover why Cassie has to drown, has always been drowning or moving toward it her entire life.
I loved the truths she learned about herself, the mistakes she made, and the way she found her own pathway back from the depths of the ocean to live another day, despite everything. Cassie is awkward and loveable, and her story is searing and powerful. I am still caught in the waves, tumbling endlessly against the shore of its pages, and I knew the truth before it surfaced once and for all in its brutal, honest way. For me, it was a visceral read, one I paced myself through so I could fully absorb it's awful beauty.
Highly, highly recommended. This is one that belongs at the very top of your TBR pile. You won't regret it.
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