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    The Waterline

    Death by water haunts Billy Kaplan. He was seven when Mark Rosen drowned, the last to see the two-year-old alive. Now, at 20, he still feels guilty. The Waterline charts the emotional journey which Billy and his parents undertake to arrive at a peaceful coexistence with their past.

    ""I've tried to imagine what it's like to drown. You thrash around, trying not to breathe, but you have to inhale sometime. Finally you just give up and your chest caves in with a choke that ruptures everything inside you. I used to put butterflies in closed jars with cotton soaked in alcohol. They skittered around until their wings froze and darkened with a stain of chemical death. I remember how your mother laid you on your stomach, water bleeding out of your clothes, how each time she pressed down on your back I was afraid she was killing you. But then your eyes fluttered open, looking far away at heaven."

    "“The book is unputdownable. It’s not just that Joseph Olshan is a born story-teller, nor even that Billy’s childish guilt is richly imagined, creatively true. It’s that Olshan’s emotional instincts are so acute that at every important moment he strikes the right note. And his understanding of the natural juxtaposition of the tragic and the commonplace is faultless. It is this instinct for emotional truth that makes bestsellers.” The Evening Standard (London)