Dryland: Book summary and reviews of Dryland by Sara Jaffe

Dryland

by Sara Jaffe

Dryland by Sara Jaffe X
Dryland by Sara Jaffe
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2015
    240 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Jaffe's engrossing debut novel, Dryland, is a smart coming-of-age novel that charts the murky waters of adolescence.

Anything can happen when Julie hits the water.

It's 1992, and the world is caught up in the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the Balkan Wars, but for Julie Winter, 15, the news is noise. In Portland, Oregon, Julie moves through her days in a series of negatives: the skaters she doesn't think are cute, the Guatemalan backpack she doesn't buy at the craft fair, the umbrella she refuses to carry despite the incessant rain.

Her family life is routine and restrained, and no one talks about Julie's older brother, a one-time Olympic hopeful swimmer who now lives in self-imposed exile in Berlin. Julie has never considered swimming herself, until Alexis, the swim team captain, tries to recruit her. It's a dare, and a flirtation - and a chance for Julie to find her brother, or to finally let him go.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Jaffe's exceptional debut, a heartfelt coming-of-age story set in Portland, Ore., in 1992, exquisitely captures the nostalgia and heartbreak of youth." - Publishers Weekly

"Quiet and understated with a touch of melancholy, like a damp Northwest winter, this debut coming-of-age novel presents one person's truth in a way that may resonate with readers seeking a deeper understanding of sexual identity." - Library Journal

"Moving sideways with its weight of secrets, this novel never strikes a false note." - Kirkus

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Sara Jaffe's fiction has appeared in publications including Fence, BOMB, NOON, matchbook, and Paul Revere's Horse. She co-edited The Art of Touring (Yeti, 2009), an anthology of writing and visual art by musicians drawing on her experience as guitarist for post-punk band Erase Errata. She lives and teaches in Portland, OR.

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