Philomel Books

March 2018

$27.99 AU

394p hc

ISBN: 978-0399547447

The Way The Light Bends

Cordelia Jensen

from Penguin Random House...

A powerful novel in verse about fitting in, standing out, defining your own self-worth, and what it takes to keep a fracturing family whole.

Virtual twins Linc and Holly were once extremely close. But while artistic, creative Linc is her parentsí daughter biologically, itís smart, popular Holly, adopted from Ghana as a baby, who exemplifies the familyís high-achieving model of academic success.

Linc is desperate to pursue photography, to find a place of belonging, and for her family to accept her for who she is, despite her surgeon motherís constant disapproval and her growing distance from Holly. So when she comes up with a plan to use her photography interests and skills to do better in schoolĖvia a project based on Seneca Village, a long-gone village in the space that now holds Central Park, where all inhabitants, regardless of race, lived together harmoniouslyĖLinc is excited and determined to prove that her differences are assets, that she has what it takes to make her mother proud. But when a long-buried family secret comes to light, Linc must decide whether her motherís love is worth obtaining.

A novel in verse that challenges the way we think about family and belonging.

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This is the story of Linc, a teenage girl, struggling at high school and finding it hard to meet her family expectations. Linc has a difficult relationship with her mother who thinks grades are all important and does not see Lincís true passion. Linc is a gifted artist, adept at photography which is her calling, but this does not help her GPA. In secret she attends photography classes on Saturdays and has applied for an art school using money stolen from her parents. Linc is also finding her once close relationship with her sister, Holly, adopted from a Ghanaian orphanage, is becoming more distant. Linc will never be able to compete with her academic sister nor live up to her parentís academic goals for her. All this is made much worse when a long-ago family secret is revealed and Lincís misdemeanours are found out.

Cordelia Jensen has written a compelling novel in verse, full of realistic situations and tender moments. As a reader you get into the head of the main character, Linc. Other characters are secondary and only seen from Lincís point of view. The struggle Linc faces with her school work and the contentment she feels when pursuing her photography is heartfelt and as a reader you truly feel for her. I liked how things did not always work out for Linc which added authenticity to the story. Hidden family secrets explained some of the relationship issues presented and I liked how the story ended on a good note. A great read!

Bea, Canberra

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