The Tale of Truthwater Lake

Publisher: Faber

It's the long hot summer of 2032 and Polly and her brother Joel are packed off to their aunt Jessie's eco-house in the countryside near Exeter. Temperatures are in the forties and there's a government alert.

Polly's keen to swim in the lake, but it has shrunk so much that she can see the old town of Syndercombe, which was drowned to form the reservoir decades before. That night, to escape the heat, Polly goes swimming and finds herself being pulled down, down... into a sunny churchyard.

In 1952, Nellie is at her mother's gravestone with her friend Lena. They're late for the swimming selection. The winner will be trained to be the first child to swim the Channel – and Nellie is desperate to be picked. When the new, rich boy Nate is chosen, Nellie is devastated – until she and Lena make an audacious plan with him. Can they pull it off?

Meanwhile, their town is due to be flooded and Nellie doesn't know where she'll be living – and with whom. And Lena's Indian family might take her back to London any day.

With the two narratives seamlessly switching and echoing each other, this is a compelling story with themes of courage and true friendship. Emma Carroll's sublime storytelling enthrals and grips the reader once again.

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