Fighting the Current
Heather Waldorf

Theresa (Tee) Stanford’s life was going very well. She’s entering her senior year of high school and after graduation she and her father planned to take a canoeing trip. Everything is going well until her father is hit by a drunk driver and left with the mental capacity of a five year old along with amnesia of everything in his life. Barely keeping herself together, Tee meets the new boy Ethan Stinson to who she reveals everything to one day after being taunted by the brother of the drunk driver. Tee later finds out that Ethan’s little sister has CF (Cystic Fibrosis), and feels that her issues with her father’s rehabilitation and strained relationship with her mother (parents are divorced), are small potatoes in comparison.

As time progresses Tee’s father is slowly working toward recovery and with Tee’s weekly visits things seem to be coming along. By Thanksgiving her father has a surprise for her. He has regained all of his memories of what happened and everything else in his life, but is still a long way from complete recovery both physically and mentally. Also her mother and father are getting remarried, which sent Tee reeling. Just as Tee is adjusting to having her dad back and the re-budding relationship between her parents, another blow comes. Tee’s rock throughout all of this Aunt Georgina dies in house fire set by the brother of the drunk driver that hit her father.

Tee and her parents move to Toronto where her mother has been living while their bungalow is being remodeled. Also during this time Tee and Ethan’s relationship develops from friendship into something a bit more.

Tee still has dreams of her graduation canoe trip and finds the canoe amazingly untouched by the fire in a shed where her Aunt’s house used to be. Tee then asks Ethan to help finish the rest of the work on the canoe, so she can surprise her father for Christmas. However, the canoe was not a well accepted surprise as hoped it would be when her father finds it early and becomes very upset and an incident ensues.

Tee then decides to take the canoe and get it out of sight, but changes her mind and takes it for a test run, but soon gets turned around and heading for rapids. She decides to bail out and ends up near Ethan’s house. He lets her in and after a change of clothes some warming up Tee confides to him that she has made the decision to accept an early-admission offer from B.C., and leaves New Year’s Day, which Tee believes will help her move on and find out just who she is.

The story concludes with Tee heading off to B.C., and meeting up down the road with Ethan to donate the canoe, which had been found by a parks employee not to badly beat up, to a camp and say one final goodbye.

I really liked this book, because it kept me wanting to know what would happen next. There was some use of foul language but it really did not bother me. Because of some of the content in this book I would recommend it for higher grade high school students, but all in all I thought this was a good effort for a first book. - AP