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Words in Deep Blue
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Words in Deep Blue
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“One of the loveliest, most exquisitely beautiful books I’ve read in a very long time. . . . I didn’t just read the pages, I lived in them.” —Jennifer Niven, New York...
“One of the loveliest, most exquisitely beautiful books I’ve read in a very long time. . . . I didn’t just read the pages, I lived in them.” —Jennifer Niven, New York...
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  • “One of the loveliest, most exquisitely beautiful books I’ve read in a very long time. . . . I didn’t just read the pages, I lived in them.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places
     
    A beautiful love story for fans of Jandy Nelson and Nicola Yoon: two teens find their way back to each other in a bookstore full of secrets and crushes, grief and hope—and letters hidden between the pages.
     
    Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.
     
    Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.
     
    As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    Rachel

     

     

    I open my eyes at midnight to the sound of the ocean and my brother’s breathing. It’s been ten months since Cal drowned, but the dreams still escape.

     

    I’m confident in the dreams, liquid with the sea. I’m breathing underwater, eyes open and unstung by salt. I see fish, a school of silver—bellied moons thrumming beneath me. Cal appears, ready to identify, but these aren’t fish we know. “Mackerel,” he says, his words escaping in bubbles that I can hear. But the fish aren’t mackerel. Not bream, not any of the names we offer. They’re pure silver. “An unidentified species,” we say as we watch them fold and unfold around us. The water has the texture of sadness: salt and heat and memory.

     

    Cal is in the room when I wake. He’s milky—skinned in the darkness, dripping of ocean. Impossible, but so real I smell salt and apple gum. So real I see the scar on his right foot—-a long—healed cut from glass on the beach. He’s talking about the dream fish: pure silver, unidentified, and gone.

     

    The room is dark except for the moonlight. I feel through the air for the dream, but instead I touch the ears of Cal’s Labrador, Woof. He follows me everywhere since the funeral, a long line of black I can’t shake.

     

    Usually, he sleeps on the end of my bed or in the doorway of my room, but for the last two nights he’s slept in front of my packed suitcases. I can’t take him with me. “You’re an ocean dog.” I run my finger along his nose. “You’d go mad in the city.”

     

    There’s no sleeping after dreams of Cal, so I pull on clothes and climb out the window. The moon is three—quarters empty. The air is as hot as day. I mowed late yesterday, so I collect warm blades of grass on the soles of my feet as I move.

     

    Woof and I get to the beach quickly. There’s almost nothing between our house and the water. There’s the road, a small stretch of scrub, and then dunes. The night is all tangle and smell. Salt and tree; smoke from a fire far up the beach. It’s all memory, too. Summer swimming and night walks, hunts for fig shells and blennies and starfish.

     

    Farther, toward the lighthouse, there’s the spot where the beaked whale washed ashore: a giant at six meters, the right side of its face pressed against sand, its one visible eye open. There was a crowd of people around it later—-scientists and locals studying and staring. But first there was Mum and Cal and me in the early cold. I was nine years old, and with its long beak it looked to me like it was half sea creature, half bird. I wanted to study the deep water it had come from, the things it might have seen. Cal and I spent the day looking through Mum’s books and on the internet. The beaked whale is considered one of the least understood creatures of the sea, I copied into my journal. They live at depths so deep that the pressure could kill.

     

    I don’t believe in ghosts or past lives or time travel or any of the strange things that Cal liked to read about. But every time I stand on the beach, I wish us back—-to the day of the whale, to any day before Cal died. With what I know, I’d be ready. I’d save him.

     

    It’s late, but there’ll be people from school out, so I walk farther up to a quiet spot. I dig myself into the dunes, burying my legs past my hips, and stare at the water. It’s shot with moon, silver leaking all over the...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 10, 2017
    Eighteen-year-old Rachel, still traumatized by the death of her brother, wants to be far from the ocean where he drowned; she decides to move back to suburban Melbourne, where she grew up, to live with her aunt. Meanwhile, Henry, Rachel’s former best friend in Gracetown, is also confronting loss: his girlfriend just broke up with him, and his parents have decided to sell their bookstore, his place of refuge. In this novel set in Australia, mostly at the bookstore, Crowley (Graffiti Moon) effectively conveys the complexities of love, death, time through Rachel and Henry’s alternating narratives, as well as letters and notes pulled from the pages of old books. It’s only after Rachel takes a job at the store that she begins to heal, coming to terms with her failures, Cal’s death, and her rekindled love for Henry, who is wrapped up getting his girlfriend back. Filled with soul searching and philosophical quips, this book is for thinkers and lovers of literature who, like Rachel and Henry, are passionate about ideas and searching for answers. Ages 14–up. Agent: Catherine Drayton, Inkwell Management.

  • AudioFile Magazine An achingly beautiful tale of love, loss, and literature from Australian author Cath Crowley is given an engrossing narration by Chelsea Bruland and Hamish R. Johnson. Rachel Sweetie's inconsolable grief over her younger brother's death opens a story that unfolds in multiple layers. Returning to the town where she grew up, Rachel reconnects with old friends, particularly Henry Jones, with whom she is secretly in love. Henry's family owns a unique secondhand bookshop featuring a letter library, where readers communicate by leaving notes in the pages of favorite old volumes. Bruland and Johnson employ varied inflections and cadences to distinguish old from young and to differentiate the notes left in the letter library from the narrative. While it may take a bit of time to settle into the rhythm of this audiobook, it's well worth the effort. S.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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