Larkin Day is a messed up 16-year-old. She just escaped a nasty year in high school to spend summer with her grandmother in seaside Nova Scotia. It's the perfect setting to seek healing by putting all
Larkin Day is a messed up 16-year-old. She just escaped a nasty year in high school 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.
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This beautifully crafted coming-of-age story is Jean Mills' second young adult novel with Red Deer, and in this, as in Skating Over Thin Ice, she reveals a deep understanding of young people, their strengths and the hazards they face in dealing with each other and the world. As well, she's a pretty fine writer. Jean lives with her family in Guelph, Ontario.
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"Mills 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. . . Readers will be pulled along by the strong voice in this emotional story."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Larkin on the Shore is a gripping coming-of-age story whose compelling senses of pain, loss, and healing are navigated with skill."
— Foreword Reviews
"Beautifully written, with vivid imagery of the Nova Scotia shore, this is a truly moving story of finding oneself after trauma"
— School Library Journal
"Beautifully rendered descriptions of the Cumberland area of Nova Scotia provide the setting for Larkin's recovery. . . Adeptly written, with short, punchy chapters and moments of poignant intensity, Larkin on the Shore reveals the pain of mental illness and the healing power of human connection. A bonus closing feature is an eight-page "Interview with Jean Mills".
— CM Magazine
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"Well-told, intense and at times heartbreaking."
— Sheree Fitch, author of The Gravesavers