What happens if you've done something terrible? But you can't remember what. And you don't know how to put it right ... When Carl opens his eyes on the banks of a lake, his brother is being zipped into a body bag. What happened in the water? He can't remember. And when he glimpses a beautiful girl he thinks he recognises, she runs away.Suddenly he knows he must find her - because together they must face the truth before it drowns them.
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Rachel Ward first won a writer’s award at a regional arts festival, and her prize-winning short story turned into the opening chapter of Numbers, which is her debut novel. She is currently working on the sequel. Rachel lives in Bath, England, with her husband and their two children.From School Library Journal:
Gr 9 Up—It's a summer filled with thunderstorms when Carl, his brother Rob, and his brother's girlfriend Neisha head to the lake for a swim. A sudden storm blows up and in the wind and rain, all three struggle to stay afloat. Rob doesn't make it. When Carl becomes conscious in the hospital, he can't remember what happened, just how his drowned brother looked as he was zipped into the body bag. As Carl's memories begin to surface, so does the terrible haunting by his dead brother who claims that Carl "owes him." Although The Drowning explores the usual love triangle story (Carl was infatuated with his brother's girlfriend), there is a more ominous thread; Carl becomes convinced that he drowned his brother. He remembers a robbery attempt that he and his brother were involved in that results in death. Tension runs high as Carl believes that Rob is trying to force him to kill Neisha—even as his relationship with Neisha turns romantic. Ward has penned a suspenseful tale with a protagonist that teens can relate to. Though it ends improbably, most readers won't mind. Anyone who has lived with a bullying older brother like Rob or an especially difficult family member will be able to relate to Carl's conflicted feelings about his sibling and be relieved when good triumphs over evil.—Kathy Kirchoefer, Henderson County Public Library, NC
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