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Monday, May 4, 2020

Review: Watermark by Elise Schiller @gosparkpress

by Elise Schiller

Thank you Spark Press for this gifted copy.

Publisher: SparkPress
Publish Date: May 5, 2020
278 Pages
Series: The Broken Bell Series, #1
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery

The oldest child in a troubled Philadelphia family, Angel Ferente struggles to care for her three sisters while pursuing her goal of attending college on a swimming scholarship. She has a problematic relationship with her mother, Pic, who uses alcohol and drugs to self-medicate and at one point lost custody for a year, and an outright hostile relationship with her stepfather, the only father figure in her life. Angel is the center of stability in the household―making sure the younger girls get to school, ensuring that holidays are observed, doing the family’s laundry at her part-time job at a Laundromat, and even taking care of Pic when she is sick or depressed. It’s 1993, the midst of the crack epidemic, and Angel and her sisters are witness to the everyday events of life in a community beset by poverty and drugs: dealers on the corner, shoot-outs that kill bystanders, prostitutes on the job, and more.

Then Angel goes to a team party on New Year’s Eve―and doesn’t come home afterward. In the wake of her disappearance, her teammates, her coach’s church, and her family search the city for her. The result changes their lives forever.

My Review:

Phew - this is a bit of a somber read.  At the beginning, I wasn't sure I was going to connected with this read.  However, as I continued on, I started to really feel for Angel and her siblings... and gained an absolute disgust with their mother, Pic.  I'll say it again, PHEW.

Schiller truly brings the reality of a problematic life for a first born who has to take over the duties as a mother - sometimes acting as a mother to her own mother.  Not only are there problems at home, they also have to deal with the rough area where they live.  Nothing is easy for these girls.  Then Angel disappears... now what?

You'll obviously have to read this to find out.  I wish I had connected with this book earlier in my journey with Angel.  By the time I was finished, I was a bit emotionally spent.  And like the gritty life that felt all too true, and likely is out there somewhere, you're left feeling a bit bereft.

Well written, I would definitely recommend this for those who love a character driven read with a bit of mystery involved.


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