Larkin on the Shore
by Mills, Jean

Larkin Day is a messed up 15-year-old. She has just escaped a nasty Grade 10 year to spend summer with her grandmother in seaside Nova Scotia. It's the perfect setting to seek healing by putting all her energies into a local café project. If you're hurting, she learns, one of the best solutions is to invest yourself in something that can make you feel like you're part of something bigger than yourself. But when an arsonist attempts to destroy the project, Larkin is forced to figure out a way to expose the criminal while keeping her life from coming off the rails again.

This beautifully crafted coming-of-age story is Jean Mills' second young adult novel with Red Deer Press. She reveals a deep understanding of young people, their strengths and the hazards they face in dealing with each other and the world.

Jean Mills is the author of Skating Over Thin Ice. She lives with her family in Guelph, Ontario.

A quiet, healing journey on the beautiful shores of Nova Scotia. Sixteen-year-old Larkin Day moves from Toronto to the small town of Tuttle Harbour, Nova Scotia, to spend the summer with her grandmother Anne (or Granne). After a stressful and traumatic school year, Larkin focuses on spending time outside and sorting book donations for Granne's as-yet-unopened coffee shop. A fire that damages the shop throws the small town into disarray, with rumors of a potential culprit casting a shadow over relationships. These whispers of blame, along with the local teens and their own social drama, remind Larkin of her unpleasant past; but quiet evenings sitting on the shore introduce her to the friendly and memorable Will. The healing beauty of nature is also juxtaposed against Larkin's urge to disappear into the waters. Mills (Skating Over Thin Ice, 2018, etc.) pulls readers into Larkin's mind, skillfully unveiling family mysteries and glimpses of memory. Themes of coping techniques and recovery from trauma are woven seamlessly through the narration. Strong emphases on Larkin's bonds with Granne and her father, hometown history, and a slow-burning love story round out her emotional journey. The difficulties Larkin encounters are gripping, and readers will feel a connection to her. All major characters are cued as white. Readers will be pulled along by the strong voice in this emotional story. (Fiction. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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