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Tough Love at Mystic Bay By Elizabeth Sowden

tough love at mystic bay

A hard-hitting, poignant tale…

A deeply moving tale of self-discovery and rediscovering friendship, Sowden’s outstanding debut tells the story of a young woman trying to deal with her past traumas. At 14, Grace Haddonfield was forcefully sent to Epiphany Lake Academy, a boarding school for troubled teens, by her controlling mother. Designed to help troubled teenagers, the yearlong program which rewarded compliance and punished noncompliance, becomes an endless cycle of physical violence, sexual abuse, and psychological duress for Grace. Now years later, Grace has a rewarding career as a four-star chef, but dealing with her inner demons is entirely another thing. After meeting Jess in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, Grace finds courage to revisit her past and a chance at friendship once again. Sowden writes Grace’s story with compassion and understanding, and her meticulous research makes the various accounts of her characters’ sufferings credible and engaging at once. Sowden’s chatty, captivating storytelling and her knack for getting inside her characters’ teenager minds make the devastation of their world even more wrenching: Grace is teetering on the edge of despair, and while she wants to desperately believe in the academy’s points and level system, she knows there’s something sinister about the whole setup. Grace’s trial at the Academy is so loaded with grim implications of physical and mental abuse that it’s almost unbelievable. Elegantly written and touching, this deeply excellent tale is as much a story of institutional failure and adolescent abuse as it’s a tale of self-discovery, endurance, and resilience in the face of difficulties.


Tough Love at Mystic Bay

By Elizabeth Sowden

Buy now

Running Wild Press

Pub date April 1, 2020

ISBN  9781947041547

Price $11.01 (USD) Paperback, $5.99 Kindle edition

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