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The Bibliophiliac’s Corner – Girl Underwater

Article and photo by Amanda Merriman

The Connection writer Amanda Merriman admits she is hopelessly addicted to books.  It has been this way nearly all her life.  Every month she will share what she has been reading with the hope that others will share in her obsession.

What if the thing you loved to do the most and what you built your identity around were suddenly to become something that triggered episodes of uncontrollable fear?  That is what the unwilling protagonist of this month’s Bibliophiliac’s book selection, “Girl Underwater” struggles with.  “Girl Underwater” is Claire Kells’ debut novel, and it pulls you into its depths from the start.  The story is told from the main character, Avery Delacorte’s point of view.  Avery is the tender age of 19, on the cusp of adulthood.  She swims competitively for the college she attends and is trying to find her place there.  This transitional process is halted when a horrific plane crash in the Rocky Mountains alters the course of her life.  She manages to survive, along with a fellow college teammate and three young children.   However, surviving is not the same as living.  Avery grapples with survivor’s guilt, and readers will wonder up to the end of the novel whether she will recover.  The current of the story pulls the reader between Avery’s past and present as she struggles with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.  The story’s tension builds as more of Avery’s memories of the event bubble to the surface.   Girl Underwater is a quick, captivating read with believable and likable characters.  Readers will likely feel sympathetic toward Avery and root for her recovery.  Reading Girl Underwater hearkens memories of how difficult and wonderful it is to be 19 years old, even without experiencing such a tragedy during that time in life. 

Fellow bibliophiles and book club members, please feel free to join in the dialogue.  Blog your thoughts and feedback at and enter the keyword “bibliophiliac” in the search bar.  Have you read a great book recently?   Don’t keep that juicy tidbit all to yourself.  Email your find to



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