‘Local Girl Swept Away – Ellen Wittlinger

Local Girl Swept Away

Thanks to Merit Press via edelweiss for the advance copy of this. I’d read mixed reviews, so I’m afraid this languished on my kindle for a while as I wanted to be in the right mood for this before I read it.

The story is set in a small village and focuses on a tight-knit group of friends. One of them, Lorna, is swept off the breakwater one night and her remains are not found. While life goes on, for those left behind – Jackie, Lucas and Finn – things are never quite the same.

Reminiscent of a lot of YA fiction I found myself wondering what the appeal of Lorna was for these teenagers – I never felt we got to see enough of her as a character to justify the way they reacted to her going missing. Though the three remaining teenagers evidently miss Lorna, the shift in their relationships makes for interesting reading.

I liked the way those left behind changed during the course of the novel, becoming that little more self-confident and less reliant on the figure of Lorna their leader to authorise their actions. I did feel that the focus on character meant what came towards the end was fairly obviously sign-posted.