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Learning to Breathe
Cover of Learning to Breathe
Learning to Breathe
A Novel
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Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy's rules—to study hard in school, to be respectful, and to never let a boy take advantage of her. But it hasn't always been easy, especially...
Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy's rules—to study hard in school, to be respectful, and to never let a boy take advantage of her. But it hasn't always been easy, especially...
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  • Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy's rules—to study hard in school, to be respectful, and to never let a boy take advantage of her. But it hasn't always been easy, especially while living in her mother's shadow. When Indy is sent to live with distant relatives in Nassau, trouble follows her. Now she must hide an unwanted pregnancy from her aunt, who would rather throw her out onto the street than see the truth. Completely broke with only a hand-me-down pregnancy book as a resource, Indy desperately looks for a safe space to call home. After stumbling upon a yoga retreat, she wonders if perhaps she's found the place. But Indy is about to discover that home is much bigger than just four walls and a roof—it's about the people she chooses to share it with.

 

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About the Author-

  • Janice Lynn Mather is a Bahamian writer with an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She has been a collector of interesting jobs: journalist, conversationalist, performance poet, and professional finger-wagger. Currently, she lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she hunches over her computer, grows vegetables, dabbles at the beach, reads in the sun, grumbles at the rain, and, most of all, writes.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 23, 2018
    Set on Nassau Island in the Bahamas, this suspenseful coming-of-age story follows an intrepid protagonist who, after being raped by her live-in cousin, strives to overcome hopelessness and fear in order to make crucial decisions about her pregnancy and future. Indy’s nickname is Doubles, in reference both to her chest size and the assumption that she will inevitably become a drunken, promiscuous, irresponsible woman like her mother. Indy’s achingly clear-sighted internal narrative is often witty: “My life can’t even be held in place with duct tape. The tape that holds anything,” she says when her bra breaks. And it offers a striking contrast to the minimalist, cautious speech she uses with others. Trapped between self-blame and a sense of futility (“I already know what people would say; in their eyes, if Gary messed with me, it’s all my fault”), Indy stumbles on a yoga retreat center and discovers both allies and kindred souls who accept her and empower her to make choices about her body and find her voice. Mather skillfully balances emotionally wrenching scenes and surprisingly humorous ones; well-drawn supporting characters, including a fiery, self-educated grandmother and an endearingly gallant friend, Churchy, enrich this capable debut. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rachel Letofsky, CookeMcDermid Agency.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Chrystal Bethell's youthful voice and light Caribbean accent set the tone for this contemporary story of teenage Indira, who tries to overcome the burdens of poverty and a broken family. When Indy's grandmother sends her to Nassau to finish school, she thought she was providing the girl with shelter and opportunity. Instead, Indy faces disdain from her aunt and worse from her older male cousin. Bethell delivers the island English respectfully, giving each character a distinct voice and beautifully executing Indy's initial emotional isolation and gradual discovery of her inner strength. When Indy's thoughts flow into free verse, Bethell transitions smoothly at perfect tempo. The story's difficult themes are offset by the calming effects of Indy's discovery of yoga and the assurance that refuge and support are within reach. C.B.L. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine

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    Dreamscape Media, LLC
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A Novel
Janice Lynn Mather
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Janice Lynn Mather
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