Toby Sedgwick is terrified by his daughter’s increasingly reckless behavior and takes a tough love approach, enrolling Ava in Mount Hope, a wilderness behavioral camp for troubled teens. Ava quickly realizes that the camp is little more than a prison, warehousing and abusing kids for their parents’ money. And after spending a disturbing weekend completing the parent portion of treatment, Toby knows it too.
As Ava desperately searches for a way out of Mount Hope, she is faced with resurfacing memories of a family tragedy. She can no longer suppress the pain of what happened to her mother and sister eight years earlier in Thailand. As father and daughter fight to get back to each other, the truth may irrevocably tear them apart.
Top Ten Favorite Quotes from Girl Sent Away
- Memory hasn’t always been my enemy. For eight years, there’s been a wall of water between me and what happened to my mother and sister in the little village of Phuket, Thailand on December 26, 2004.
- I thought things were bad back then, the night I blacked out standing on those train tracks. But that was before my father had me kidnapped.
- A few hours into captivity and already the counselor had Ava thinking of the other Seeds—his word for detainees—as kids without real names.
- It was no good looking up, thinking about home and the only parent she had left. Stars didn’t shine like this in Wellesley, where she lived with her father. Toby, the traitor.
- A vague memory of a dream came to Ava in which the bunk came crashing down on her in the middle of the night, metal coils trapping her, feathers and sheets clogging her mouth, making it impossible to breathe. In the seconds before Ava realized it was just another freak-out, she remembered feeling grateful to the girl above her for putting her out of her misery.
- There was a sliver space between his two front teeth and a tiny hollow in one cheek. Not deep enough to call a dimple, more like a dent he might make in one of the sculptures he was working on. All his imperfections, including the two scars, should’ve added up to a face not much worth looking at. But somehow, all put together, James was some kind of beautiful.
- Biddie took the slim volume of poetry from Ava and reached over to hold her hands, squeezing them once, then quickly letting go. Her brief touch left the memory of warmth on Ava, like when the sun goes behind a cloud and you begin to wonder if it had ever been sunny to begin with.
- Ava and Poppy wore shorts over their bathing suits like they did most summer days. Poppy was loving all things plaid and Ava was stuck in a polka-dot phase.
- She’s wearing a sarong covered in exotic flowers, rose, orchid, and thistle. With her black hair framing her face, Mom is a kaleidoscope of color. She looks too pretty to be arguing with Dad.
- Ava knelt on the side lawn next to James, putting the final touches on her tribute to the people she loved. Honoring them with blue flowers and found art.
Praise for Girl Sent Away—
“Girl Sent Away is a sensitive, compulsively readable novel about the enduring devotion of a father and daughter, and the frightening, shadowy world of troubled teens.” —William Landay, author of Defending Jacob
With its young heroine and sensitive examination of adolescents in crisis, Girl Sent Away would do well to find a teen audience. –Kirkus Reviews
A terrific and terrifying story. —Roxana Robinson, author of Cost and Sparta
A harrowing tale of family and adolescence–of the things parents do to keep their children whole and the terrible mistakes they make along the way. —Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street
Lynne Griffin is the author of the family-focused novels Girl Sent Away, Sea Escape, and Life Without Summer, as well as the nonfiction titles, Let’s Talk About It: Adolescent Mental Health and Negotiation Generation—Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment. Lynne is a registered nurse and family counselor who teaches family studies at Wheelock College, and is the Social-Emotional Learning Specialist at an independent school in Boston. She teaches fiction writing at GrubStreet, an independent writing center in Boston and facilitates their program for soon-to-be published authors called Launch Lab.
Critics have noted that Lynne’s work is all heart—with “carefully crafted characters that ring heartbreakingly true” (Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW, Life Without Summer), and that as a writer, Lynne tells her stories “with literary grace and a keen sense of human nature” (Carol Cassella, author of Oxygen), with the ability to “pluck the heartstrings” (Entertainment Weekly’s MUST READ LIST, Sea Escape).