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The Weight of Water Hardcover – Jul 23 2013
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Poignant, powerful, just perfect Cathy Cassidy Succinct, with a gentle lyricism, the poems are telling about immigration, prejudice, self-delusion, families and first love, on the way to a life-changing conclusion Sunday Times - Book of the Week This poetic novel is sheer perfection - for adults as well as for teenagers. Being in Kasienka's head, the reader gains a new understanding of how alienation feels. I loved it Irish Examiner A compellingly beautiful, utterly seductive debut novel ... Do not miss it and press it upon your friends and acquaintances The Scotsman You've entered the young Polish girl's voice with a heartfelt conviction. I felt like I was watching a movie of her life in present time and at the same sharing in what's happening inside her head. What I especially like is that nothing is overstated, but there are so many pregnant issues there - prejudice, migration, language bias - but what's so disarming and charming is the way the girl reveals her inner self with a poetic and resonant simplicity John Agard --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Sarah Crossan is the author of the Breathe trilogy. She grew up in England and Ireland, has taught English in the United States, and now lives in London with her family. Visit her online at www.sarahcrossan.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Strengths: The characters are great including Kasienka, her mother, their neighbor Kanoro, and Will especially shine through. The plot is interesting revolving as it does around a young girl's love of swimming and how it helps her deal with the challenges in her life, including a mother who refuses to listen and accept what those around her tell her. Kasienka's struggles at school are unfortunately all to common, especially for immigrant children. The free verse is beautifully written.
Weaknesses: I'm not sure how many middle grade readers want to read free verse. The format means that a lot of details are left out, but this allows the reader to focus on Kasienka's feelings, which is not entirely a bad thing. I also have issues with 12 and 13-year-old's making out, especially French kissing such as Kasienka and Will engage in. Do we really want to encourage kids this age to engage in that kind of behavior without fully understanding the consequences (which are in no way explored in this book)?
The person who sold it to me did not mention that it was an editors copy, therefore I got an uncorrected proof copy of it. But for the price I would say that it was still a good deal.
I definitely recommend this book especially to coming of age teens.
Kasienka is a young protagonist, 12 years old, when her mom and her emigrate from Poland to England in search of her dad who left them two years a go. From the beginning there is a feeling of hopelessness and rejection as Kasienka tries to navigate being in a new country and a new culture where the kids in her class don't accept her and her mom doesn't really see her.
As the story progresses (written in beautiful prose that shows a depth far greater than an average junior higher), the emptiness and abandonment Kasienka feels slowly dissipates as she gets involved in swimming. Here, she is more than just an outsider or invisible; she finds strength in swimming which gives her confidence and courage.
Suffering through a few heartbreaking situations, Kasienka's journey ends with her finding peace and acceptance in what is truly a moving and beautifully tragic story.
Why 3 stars? Because while it does have its positives the story just doesn't quite do it for me. There were moments where I felt very strongly about the story and it evoked an emotional response. But a lot of it failed to do that.
I do like the lead. She is charming. I think dealing with a father who leaves you would be very rough. But I feel things are resolved a little to easily.
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