LEARNING TO BREATHE by Janice Lynn Mather


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Sent away to live with relatives to escape her mother’s wild lifestyle, Indira’s new home is anything but a sanctuary

Indy is a black Bahamian girl who can’t escape her mother Sharice’s unsavory shadow. In their Bahamian community of Mariner’s Cay, Sharice has a reputation for being promiscuous—and Indy’s nickname, “Doubles,” comes from how much she physically resembles her mom. Worse, everyone assumes that she acts like Sharice too. When she goes to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin in Nassau, presumably for a better life than her mother can give her, the nickname and the assumptions follow. Even her loving Grammy seems to think Indy will end up in trouble. Sure enough, trouble comes, but it’s not of Indy’s choosing. One day, she stumbles upon a yoga retreat center, setting off a chain of events that will expose family secrets and force her to make the toughest decisions of her life. Indy is vulnerable, yet determined, as she faces a shameful past and navigates an uncertain future with the help of new friends. Told in Indy’s voice, this heart-wrenching story unfolds with intermittent flashbacks, including scenes of sexual harassment and violence. Through well-crafted dialogue, fresh characters, and solid pacing, the book’s mature themes are handled carefully and with sensitivity.

A powerful, poignant story about refusing to let the past dictate who you are or who you will become. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 26th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5344-0601-8
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2018


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