Wherever the sharks led, Lucy Everhart’s marine-biologist mother was sure to follow. In fact, she was on a boat far off the coast of Massachusetts, collecting shark data when she died suddenly. Lucy was seven. Since then Lucy and her father have kept their heads above water–thanks in large part to a few close friends and neighbors. But June of her twelfth summer brings more than the end of school and a heat wave to sleepy Rockport. On one steamy day, the tide brings a great white–and then another tragedy, cutting short a friendship everyone insists was “meaningful” but no one can tell Lucy what it all meant. To survive the fresh wave of grief, Lucy must grab the line that connects her depressed father, a stubborn fisherman, and a curious old widower to her mother’s unfinished research on the Great White’s return to Cape Cod. If Lucy can find a way to help this unlikely quartet follow the sharks her mother loved, she’ll finally be able to look beyond what she’s lost and toward what’s left to be discovered.
Another beautifully told story of a young girl who endured loss and grief. Kate Allen is a talented writer who knew exactly how to draw the reader in making them feel part of the story. This is a story of perseverance, love, reflection, and friendship.
Although children experience loss and grief of this caliber too often and the story was realistic and gracefully told, I would still feel uncomfortable recommending it to children under 12. At the very least, I would recommend that parents read this story with their children and have meaningful discussions surrounding the events portrayed. With the guidance of a parent or loved one, this could be a great book to grow conversation around.
Other than that, I loved it. I felt close to Lucy and empathized with her grief. I loved the layers of character traits, the friendships and sense of community that was developed. I look forward to reading more from this author!!
I grew up in Massachusetts and live in Minneapolis, MN, with my family. The Line Tender is my first novel.