Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Book Review: Watermark

I found this book a bit hard to read as a mom and grandmother. Schiller writes from experience about street-wise kids and their issues. I swam competitively in high school, and her sense of that program is excellent. The publicist writes:
"Shedding light on the unique challenges of growing up in the chaos of poverty within a damaged family, Watermark, part captivating mystery, part coming-of-age story, in not to be missed!"
This is true, but I'm not sure who is the target audience.  I wouldn't want my teens reading it, as they'd get some bad ideas! As a retired teacher, I have certainly seen these themes in my teaching career: issues with child protective services, racism, poverty, and drug addiction. As well, she illustrates the importance of sports to keep kids on the straight and narrow, with goals for the future. I've had students whose mothers were drug addicts, kids in kin care, kids in foster homes, as well as kids in dysfunctional families. She write well, and from experience.

It is a good mystery, but the pain of the family was tough to take as a grandmother. You have such high hopes for your children and grandchildren. It is a book that will help us understand the pain and anger of the most vulnerable in society.

by Elise Schiller

Through swimming, Angel Ferente found relief from the troubles of home—a refuge from the responsibility ofWatermark, has disappeared without a trace.
Elise Schiller
caring for her three younger sisters. But now, instead of being scouted by schools and getting ready for college, the talented high school senior in Elise Schiller’s debut novel,

Raised by a drug-addicted mother and criminal step-father, Angel became her younger sisters’ only hope—and the rock that held her family together. Now, Angel is nowhere to be found. Last seen on public transit in the middle of the night, the talented competitive swimmer with an independent streak could have ended up just about anywhere. But on the rough streets of inner-city Philadelphia in the early 90’s, in a community plagued by drugs and violent crime, her family and friends are finding plenty of cause for concern.

About the Author

A lifelong resident of Philadelphia, PA, Elise Schiller has spent more than three decades providing education and youth services in inner-city communities through her work in non-profit organizations, including her most recent 16-year position as the associate executive director at EducationWorks. Though she has published several short stories over the years,Watermark is her debut novel.
Watermark is available in e-book and paperback format from AmazonBarnes& and select independent retailers. Learn more and connect with the author on Facebook,  Goodreads, and LinkedIn.  


William Kendall said...

It perhaps sounds geared more to young adults, not that far removed from that age.

Red said...

Add limited economic opportunities in this one s well.