Published May 2013
Shortlisted For The Carnegie Medal
A startling, searing and hugely moving novel, told in verse.
A story about first love, bullying and inner strength.
Armed with one suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother leave Poland and head for the UK to find her missing father.
Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home, her mother’s heart is breaking and at school she finds it impossible to make new friends.
While the search continues, Kasienka is kept afloat by William, a boy she meets at the pool, who understands what it means to lose someone and who swims with Kasienka towards her new life.
Succinct, with a gentle lyricism, the poems are telling about immigration, prejudice, self-delusion, families and first love, on the way to a life-changing conclusion.
Sunday Times – Book of the Week
This poetic novel is sheer perfection – for adults as well as for teenagers. Being in Kasienka’s head, the reader gains a new understanding of how alienation feels. I loved it.
A compellingly beautiful, utterly seductive debut novel . . . Do not miss it and press it upon your friends and acquaintances.
Poignant, powerful, just perfect.