A Year by the Water

  • Round: Books: Page 1 Challenge

  • Genre:
    Fiction: Literary, Coming of Age
  • Submitted: May 18, 2011


Status: Elevated to Round 2

  • Want it elevated: 42%
  • Publishing Pro Rating: Under review.
  • 3%


  • 12%


  • 43%


  • 30%


  • 12%


% want it elevated


Page 1 Challenge


This is a coming-of-age story about two young friends who create a secret utopia world together. But their friendship, and their secret world, is strained as Shawna develops an interest in boys and magazines, and Emily gets tangled up in the tragic life of a classmate with a dark secret.

Page 1

I hesitate to tell you this story for one very simple reason—if you were to visit our secret kingdom today, you’d find it completely unremarkable. You would think to yourself “This isn’t at all like she described it” and you would be right. I’m sure it is crowded with underbrush, and the birches have probably grown such that the clearing is mostly a suggestion outlined by older trees among the younger ones. The pond onto which that clearing opened has recessed considerably in the last twenty years, though whether through man’s interference or natural causes I couldn’t say. There are more houses now too, framing the opposite side of the water in private white-washed luxury.

Murry and I pass near it on our walks whenever I visit my parents; he sniffs and stops to pee only a stone’s throw from where everything happened. But I have not strayed from the gravel path and into the tangle of brush and branches in ages. I made my final attempt ten years ago, and I cannot say with certainty whether I actually found it, or if my imagination was leading me astray. This is all to say, it seems silly to take you any further. I’m happy to give you directions, but I doubt they’ll do much good. And you’ll have to figure out the last bit on your own.

From my parent’s house, walk west till you reach the crescent of three-story apartment buildings at the end of our road. There’s a little path, between buildings D and F—well, not a path as much as a line where the grass has been worn down to dirt.

Text Size: A A A
Discover the next best seller!