The Line Tender by Kate Allen is proof positive that it doesn't matter whether a book is written for children or adults--a great book is a great book. This is one of my favorite books I've read this year.
The Line Tender takes place over the course of one summer in Rockport, Massachusetts in the early 1990s. Five years after the loss of her mother--a marine biologist who studied great white sharks--twelve-year-old Lucy Everhart lives with her father and spends most of her days putting together a field guide to native species with her best friend Fred.
After an unthinkable accident in a granite quarry, Lucy has to find a way forward through grief and loss. This journey not only brings her to the shores of Cape Cod, but involves the enduring mysteries of nature, the power of art, and most importantly--our connections to one another.
Every time I think about The Line Tender, I discover another layer of meaning. It is a rich, nuanced, poignant, often funny, coming-of-age novel that deftly weaves in art and science, and deals with a very weighty subject: finding meaning in life after suffering loss, and what sustains us after tragedy.