Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she took swim lessons at her community pool and captained the local team; in high school, she raced across bays and sprawling North American lakes. Now a sophomore on her university s nationally ranked team, she struggles under the weight of new expectations but life is otherwise pretty good. Perfect, really.
That all changes when Avery s red-eye home for Thanksgiving makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and Colin Shea, who happens to be her teammate. Colin is also the only person in Avery s college life who challenged her to swim her own events, to be her own person something she refused to do. Instead she s avoided him since the first day of freshman year. But now, faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could ve imagined.
In the wilderness, the concept of survival is clear-cut. Simple. In the real world, it s anything but."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-01-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Kells writes with a spare, sure hand in her debut novel about a college sophomore swimmer who survives a plane crash in the Rockies along with a teammate and three young boys. First-person narrator Avery Delacorte reveals her story in parallel timelines. The first one details the crash and its harrowing aftermath in an unforgiving wilderness, where Avery is joined by teammate Colin Shea and the three boys, ages three through six. The other follows her mental recovery from the crash, hindered by the emotional wall she erects between herself and the experience. Avery’s family, boyfriend, and therapists try to help, but she refuses to accept a PTSD diagnosis. She disassociates herself from the other survivors, going so far as to pretend she went it alone in the wild, had nothing to do with helping to rescue the youngsters, and did not suture Colin’s wounds with dental floss. It’s only when she forces herself to reconnect with her fellow survivors that she begins to regain control of her life. The author’s skill with character reveals itself best with Colin, whose quiet care has always unnerved Avery. Kells’s visceral story is quite memorable and eminently readable. (Mar.)