11/18 – The Leaving Year, by Pam McGaffin

The author once was a member of the 18th Avenue Book Group.

Tuesday, Novemeber 6,  2018 – discussion lead:  Ruth
From goodreads (click on this link to read reviews): A coming-of-age YA novel about the daughter of a Pacific Northwest fisherman, whose presumed drowning in 1967 has her searching for answers, including whether or not he’s really dead.

leaving-year3b-820x1267As the Summer of Love comes to an end, 15-year-old Ida Petrovich waits for a father who never comes home. While commercial fishing in Alaska, he is lost at sea, but with no body and no wreckage, Ida and her mother are forced to accept a “presumed” death that tests their already strained relationship. While still in shock over the loss of her father, Ida overhears an adult conversation that shatters everything she thought she knew about him. This prompts her to set out on a search for the truth that takes her from her Washington State hometown to Southeast Alaska, where she works at a salmon cannery, develops love for a Filipino classmate, and befriends a Native Alaskan girl. In this wild, rugged place, she also begins to understand the physical and emotional bonds that took her father north and why he kept them secret—a journey of discovery that ultimately brings her family together and helps them heal. Insightful and heartfelt, The Leaving Year is a tale of love and loyalty, family and friendship, and the stories we tell ourselves in our search for meaning. […]

Seattle Book Review – Interview with Writer of The Leaving Year, Pam McGaffin: […] I wrote this story by the seat of my pants (as opposed to plotting or outlining it). So everything about it evolved. But I knew early on that there would be a mystery and that Ida would go to Alaska. I thought it would be more realistic – and interesting – if her journey of discovery didn’t go the way she anticipated. I remember thinking about Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and how she didn’t fully appreciate the value of her adventure until it was over. […]

About the author:

Read about Pam McGaffin  on the author’s website: [..] So, at age 51, after a long career in journalism and public-relations, she quit her day job and went to work. After seven years, countless rewrites, and a seat-of-her-pants course in modern publishing, she is proud to have released her debut novel, The Leaving Year, with SparkPress Aug. 14, 2018.[…]

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