Monday, June 13, 2011
Dark Water by Laura McNeal
Fifteen-year-old Pearl DeWitt and her mother live in Fallbrook, California, where it’s sunny 340 days of the year, and where her uncle owns a grove of 900 avocado trees. Uncle Hoyt hires migrant workers regularly, but Pearl doesn’t pay much attention to them . . . until Amiel. From the moment she sees him, Pearl is drawn to this boy who keeps to himself, fears being caught by la migra, and is mysteriously unable to talk. And after coming across Amiel’s makeshift hut near Agua Prieta Creek, Pearl falls into a precarious friendship—and a forbidden romance.
Then the wildfires strike. Fallbrook—the town of marigolds and palms, blood oranges and sweet limes—is threatened by the Agua Prieta fire, and a mandatory evacuation order is issued. But Pearl knows that Amiel is in the direct path of the fire, with no one to warn him, no way to get out. Slipping away from safety and her family, Pearl moves toward the dark creek, where the smoke has become air, the air smoke.
Laura McNeal has crafted a beautiful and haunting novel full of peril, desperation, and love.
I don't even know how to begin. I couldn't put this book down. I was so interested in what was happening between Pearl and Amiel that I just had to keep on reading the story. Pearl became friends with Amiel, maybe even more than friends before the fire that took place in this book. Amiel and Pearl had their own type of friendship that survived even though they didn't speak much of each other's language. Pearl found where Amiel was staying and often took the time to visit him along the river bank.
When a wildfire broke out, Pearl realized that Amiel didn't have anyone to warn him. He wouldn't know there was a fire or that evacuations were taking place. Pearl decides to risk her own life to save Amiel. What she doesn't expect, is that her Uncle will come out after her and try to save her from the fire.
The only part of the novel I wasn't quite fond of was the ending. I felt as though there was this quick wrap-up of loose ends and we didn't really get the full story of what all happened. I've decided I'm not going to say what the end of the story was because it would be a spoiler for those of you who haven't read it! All in all a good book by McNeal, I just wish there was more depth to the ending so we understood fully why certain choices were made.