Title: The drowning girl
Author: Margaret Leroy
Four year old Sylvie isn’t quite like other children. She can be distant and has regular tantrums and nightmares. She refuses to call her mother “Mum”, instead calling her by her first name. She constantly draws the same picture of her “real home”, says strange things and is very afraid of water. She is fixated with a photo of a seaside village in Ireland.
Her mother Grace is struggling- as a single mother, with limited income and trying to figure out what is wrong with her daughter and how to help her. Grace loves Sylvie very much, even though at times she does not understand her. She finds it hard to get anyone to support her instinct that something isn’t quite right, until she meets an academic, Adam, with an interest in children who seem to remember past lives.
The search for answers takes them from their London home to the Irish coast. Adam is keen to learn more about Sylvie but Grace tries to protect her from the strong feelings that arise when they visit the town in the photograph. There is a twist in the story towards the end and another frightening event but eventually some good comes from the journey and Grace and Sylvie can move on. The story is told from the mother’s perspective.
The short chapters and descriptive text make it easy to read and will give you something to think about after you finish the book. Recommended by Oprah as a great read.