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Flight for freedom | Hostage on the high seas
November 2018 Book of the Month | One of our 2018 Books of the Year
A stunningly original ocean adventure by a one-of-a-kind author whose work defies convention and abounds with a purity of ideas and execution.
Kel was “always running away from something”, seeking escape “from the world she inhabited within and the world that bullied her from the outside”. She’s a swamper, born oceans apart from the wealthy tower people who live in the same Cornish coastal community. She’s also an unforgettable heroine, a girl with danger in her eyes, a baby to care for and “a stupid heart that beat wrong and was shaped wrong and had wrongness stretched clean through it”. Kel “didn’t want what the tower people had; she only wanted two things, a heart she could rely on and freedom from kin”, which is why she kidnaps Rose, the daughter of a cargo ship captain. Kel plans to use her ill-gotten gains to travel to South America to have a heart operation, because in the UK “swamp folk don’t get operations”. Aboard the ship Kel tracks down Rose and forces her to board a smaller vessel, soon running into trouble when the engine fails amidst scenes of devastation on the mainland.
Steering clear of well-worn clichés, Carthew’s stories cut to the heart of human experience, often portraying and championing life’s underdogs and outsiders. What a thrilling, thought-provoking novel this is, brimming with perilous encounters, and the rawness of real-life relationships.
Breath-takingly fierce, smart and tender, Only the Ocean is a story of survival and courage in the midst of darkness that will thrill fans of Patrick Ness and Sarah Crossan.
The two girls sat at opposite ends of the boat and Kel dug and stretched the oars into the ocean like her life depended upon it because it did. `Just so you know,' said Rose, `everything, and I mean everything, is your fault.' Kel Crow lives in a dead-end swamp with her deadbeat family and a damaged heart. But she has a plan to escape. It's a one-two-three fortune story that goes: stow away on the ship, kidnap the girl, swap the girl to pay for passage to America and a life-saving operation. But the ocean is an untameable force, and wrecks ships and plans alike ...
Sweet, raw and uncompromising - this is the story of an unforgettable relationship forged on an epic journey.
I was absolutely cheering on Kel and Rose by the end of their stormy salt water odyssey! Wonderful, mesmerising, immersive story telling - Hilary McKay, author of The Skylarks' War
I loved Only the Ocean. It's about a girl who is trying to escape from a dreadful life and an entire deck of cards stacked against her. It's about a girl whose idea of escape and what it could look like has been severely limited by that dreadful life. It's about a dawning sexuality overcoming past trauma and it's about the new, hitherto unimagined, escape routes that love can bring. This all comes wrapped up in Carthew's singular and poetic style, awareness of nature and use of dialect. I thought it was wild and raw and truly, truly beautiful. - Jill Murphy, The Bookbag
Steering clear of well-worn cliches, Carthew's stories cut to the heart of human experience, often portraying and championing life's underdogs and outsiders. What a thrilling, thought-provoking novel this is, brimming with perilous encounters, and the rawness of real-life relationships - LoveReading4Kids
An intriguing LGBTQ story about survival and fortitude, with a fierce protagonist at its heart - Culturefly
A heart-rending quest story about children in a bitterly cold, climate-changed Cornwall, searching for the everyday comforts and love of the world so recently lost - Independent - Praise for WINTER DAMAGE
Gripping stuff, Carthew's prose has a startling ferocity - The Telegraph Best Books of 2015 - Praise for THE LIGHT THAT GETS LOST
A vivid, imagistic language - Financial Times - Praise for THE LIGHT THAT GETS LOST
Publication date: 08/08/2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
|Publication date:||8th August 2019|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury YA an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
|Suitable for:||13+ readers, YA readers|
|Genres:||Adventure Stories, General Fiction, Romance / Relationship Stories|
Natasha Carthew was born and raised in Cornwall, where she still lives with her girlfriend of nineteen years. Natasha had three books of poetry published before her first novel, Winter Damage, came out in 2013. Winter Damage was nominated for the 2014 Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for several other awards including the prestigious Branford Boase Award. Natasha is a country writer who does all of her writing outside – whatever the weather – in a cabin built from scrap.More About Natasha Carthew
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