OK, I wasn’t surprised to discover a cat (see post below) had discovered and apparently admired my novel–cats are very discriminating, as any cat-lover knows–but an audience that did surprise me was children. I hadn’t thought Looking Through Water would appeal to teenagers or children, with its themes of family conflict and tragedy. But after receiving great reviews from kids aged 9 on up (most not related to me) I reviewed some middle school and young adult literature. The major themes? Family conflict and tragedy. Not to mention drug and alcohol problems, incest, bullying, and suicide. Children tell me what they like most in Water is the characters. They can relate to a gifted, curious, but lonely child, growing up to make difficult but mature decisions about her life. A granddaughter who just turned 13, and has never enjoyed reading, found that the novel changed her attitude about books.
An interesting note: children and young adults tell me they “never cry reading a book.” And they didn’t cry reading this one. But many, many adults have told me the novel brought them to tears, more than once. Perhaps it takes more life experience to develop that kind of empathy with a character.
I’d be interested to hear if you know of young people who have read and enjoyed Looking Through Water.