Julia Drake’s remarkable debut contemporary YA novel, THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA, is the story of a wry teenager’s summer of discovery: of herself, of her family and its history—and perhaps, even, of a long-missing shipwreck believed to have brought her family to coastal Maine generations ago.
Following her brother’s hospitalization, sixteen-year-old Violet Larkin is exiled for the summer to her uncle’s house in Lyric, Maine—the same town her great-great-great grandmother founded many years ago after surviving a shipwreck. Wracked with guilt over her apparent inability to be a supportive sister (and over her recent history of personal misdeeds), Violet shaves her head and tries to lose herself in her summer job: scrubbing tanks at the local aquarium.
There, Violet meets Orion Lewis, an ace trumpeter and burgeoning boat builder, and his friend Liv Stone, an amateur wreck hunter with a particular interest in Violet’s ancestors. Together, they embark on a mission to uncover the wreck of the Lyric, the sunken ship that first brought Violet’s family to this town. But if Violet is going to uncover the true history of her family, she’s going to have to first be willing to rewrite her own story and redefine her relationship to her friends, her family, her past, her future—and most important of all, herself.