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The First Time She Drowned

A toxic relationship takes center stage in Kletter’s lyrical, emotional novel: Cassie’s mother had her committed to a mental hospital at 16, and no one believed her cries that it was her mother who needed the help. Now, Cassie’s old enough to check herself out—but when she finds life on the outside to be cripplingly difficult, she wonders if the hospital had been the right idea all along. After her mother wedges her way back into Cassie’s life, the disparity between her childhood flashbacks and present life brings even more confusion. While the overall conclusion to Kletter’s tale isn’t a shock, Cassie’s biggest revelation is a punch in the gut. B+

The First Time She Drowned
2016 book
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