Author: Michelle Dennis Evans
Coffee-addicted Valerina has more reason to head to Café Legato than the fact they make a great latte. There is that perfect barista—Josh.
When did this childhood friend become the centre of Rina’s every thought? When did his voice become so smooth, like velvet chocolate? When did the breeze from his insanely long lashes begin to fan the fire in her heart?
At Café Legato, Rina can escape from her loving and lively family. In the cool breeze of Josh’s lashes, she is able to momentarily forget her role as big sister to four-and-a-half siblings. Drowning in latte and Josh’s warm smile, she can set aside her fear that some things at home are not quite right. At Café Legato, Rina can daydream in tongue-tied bliss.
But some dreams come true. Did Josh really invite her to hang out the next day? Did those words fall from his perfectly luscious lips? If he did, Valerina would be there, come hell or high water, but first she had today to get through.
Today was Dad’s “special time,” with a fishing trip acting as the cover for a father to daughter heart-to-heart. Rina was changing, and so was life in her family. Did she really want to get deep and meaningful with her father? Did she want to share her fears for her brother Zach? Would Dad want to talk about her wavering faith?
Valerina will face the day, one wave at a time. Until the storm hits, and Rina finds herself completely out of her depth. Will her father’s faith be enough to keep them afloat?
And through it all, one thought remains … Josh.
Reviewer: Mary Hosmar
When I first opened this story and saw the very long table of content, I wondered at the number of chapters. Then, when I realized the chapters were actually poems all written in free verse, I wondered whether or not I had realized it was poetry before agreeing to review this book. But, a promise is a promise so I began reading.
And what a delight this read is.
The story contained within the poetry, told from a teenage girl’s perspective, is gripping. I found the poetry to be the perfect vessel to convey Rina’s thoughts and feelings. The flow of the lines was in keeping with the story: longer, flowing lines during the relaxing moments and terse, short lines during the tense time.
The analogy of the title of the story, Sink, Drift or Swim, is very apt. Rina’s father’s faith is one of ‘swimming’ through life with trusting God, even if that is only with faith the size of a mustard seed. Without it one will certainly ‘sink’. And ‘drifting’ through life is not an option either. The Christian message comes through clearly in subtle ways, never ‘preachy’. But it is enough to make Rina rethink what she’s been taught about God.
There were a couple of occasions when I wished that, as a reader, I had more information, but on reflection I realized that telling the story from the first person point of view would not allow for that information. I can’t go into a lot of detail here because it would give away too much of the story, but the reader will know what I mean. And the story made perfect sense without those little bits.
Although written in free verse poetry the story, at times, reads more like a novel. Non-poetry people: it’s not poetry to be afraid to read.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.