Sixteen year-old Lucy Connelly is haunted by a suicide she witnesses while rowing on the Brisbane River. It compounds the despair she has battled since her parents’ ugly divorce ten years earlier. She doesn’t know that Paul Waldron - the older cousin of her best friend Beth - knows Luke, the boy who jumped, and feels he should have done more for him, although he has his hands full dealing with the dislocation in his own family. Pretty and popular at her exclusive private school, Lucy hides the shame of her dark thoughts. Beth tries to help, but Lucy’s problems need serious attention not forthcoming from her mother Sandy, struggling after the divorce, or her wealthy developer father David, busy with his new family. Unlikely refuge comes from old Ted who lives next door, and was a stretcher-bearer in WW1. Maybe he has one more casualty to carry to safety. Paul has glimpsed her despair, but is preoccupied with his own messy family: his dad Jack – the result of a wartime romance - moves the family back and forth between England and Australia, after discovering his own father, Bill Howard, is living in western Queensland. But young cousin Nick Howard bitterly resents these interlopers, and will exact his revenge. As well, Paul’s mother Helene’s untimely death still haunts the family. Treading Water traces in parallel the lives of Lucy and Paul slowly drawn together over fifteen years as they try to find their place of peace from turbulent childhoods
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About the Author
I’m in my sixties, and have lived all over the world, latterly in Australia, and have recently moved from Brisbane to the little beach town of Noosa Heads. To have reached this time of life in relatively good health is a gift and I’m using it to do the things I love: writing, reading, thinking, talking, eating, drinking and laughing, and more recently, singing and blogging: http://spryandretiring.wordpress.com Treading Water is my second novel, and my first foray into self-publishing. An English teacher for forty years, I have felt privileged to be involved in young people’s lives during their formative years. Look out for the lost ones, a wise headmaster once said, and that is the impetus for my book. The despair young people feel when their families are split must be handled with great love and care, and often is. But if children feel abandoned, it has consequences throughout their lives. I feel very strongly about it and wanted bring it to the reader through the eyes of the gentle and fragile Lucy. Other strands important to me intertwine with Lucy’s story: youth suicide, and the more sinister and sadly topical problem of child abuse, sometimes institutional. Also topical this year is war remembrance, something that has always moved me, never more so than when visiting Anzac Cove with students only a couple of years younger than the boys buried beneath. There is still much to be learned from these selfless men, something Lucy discovers for herself.