When Clementine Haas wakes up in a hospital, she has no recollection of the past 18 years of her life, let alone why she’s there.
The white teenager is horrified to learn she is the lone survivor of a terrible plane crash in Ireland. When her father arrives from America, she feels nothing and runs away. She doesn’t know if she’s trying to find or lose Clementine, but she can’t stay in that hospital any longer, disappointing everyone by not remembering. She dares 20-year-old Irishman Kieran O’Connell to get her away from the hospital, and he takes her to the small village of Waterville, where Clementine is able to relax and slowly try to figure out who she is. Clementine meets Kieran’s pregnant twin sister, Siobhan, and Clive, a bisexual man with a mohawk who owns a used book and record store (and who offers the only diversity in the book other than Stephen, a gay, Jewish nurse). Unsurprisingly, she falls head over heels in love with Kieran, feeling an overpowering connection with him. Using the device of Clementine’s amnesia, Crane explores themes of freedom and self-determination. Her freedom to remake herself in Waterville begins with a purple dye job and a fake name but doesn’t end there; readers will respond to her testing of new waters.
A light exploration of existential themes. (Fiction. 14-18)