Fans of Far from the Tree, We Are Okay and Emergency Contact will love this epic, utterly unforgettable contemporary novel about a lost shipwreck, a missing piece of family history, and weathering the storms of life.
The Larkin family isn't just lucky—they persevere. At least that's what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn't drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer. But wrecks seem to run in the family: Tall, funny, musical Violet can't stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life.
Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family's missing piece—the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century. She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes—and the bridges she builds along the way—may be the start of something like survival.
Epic, funny, and sweepingly romantic, The Last True Poets of the Sea is an astonishing debut about the strength it takes to swim up from a wreck.
In a strong debut loosely based on Twelfth Night, 16-year-old Violet's family splinters after her brother Sam's suicide attempt. Their parents enter counseling at home in New York City, Sam heads to Vermont for treatment, and party girl Violet is exiled to Lyric, Maine, where her family used to spend their summers. Living quietly with her uncle Toby and volunteering at the local aquarium, Violet reflects on her childhood with her brother, makes new friends through coworker Orion, and gains interest in the history of her great-great-great-grandparents, the town's much-celebrated founders. Against the evocative backdrop of rugged coastal Maine, Drake's suspenseful novel offers three strands of high drama: the impact of Sam's mental illness on Violet, Violet's family history (her grandmother, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, posed as a boy while working for her future husband), and a complicated love triangle between Violet, Orion, and Orion's friend Liv, who has a special interest in Violet's ancestors. The story of her grandmother's transformation creates intriguing parallels with the internal changes Violet undergoes. If at times the novel seems crowded, Violet emerges as a genuine, sympathetic protagonist struggling to create something new from the wreckage of her life. Ages 14 up.