Blog Tour Guest Post

THE DROWNING BLOG TOUR: The Low Down on The Drowning

I am a huge fan of Rachel Ward and her books. After meeting her at an event back in February, I quickly read Numbers and loved it. I’m really excited to be kicking off The Drowning blog tour, because I loved it even more than Numbers, and that’s hard to beat.
I’m really hoping that you will all go away and buy this book after seeing this post, because I know I would want to if I were you!

What happens if you’ve done something terrible? But you can’t remember what. And you don’t know how to put it right …When Carl opens his eyes on the banks of a lake, his brother is being zipped into a body bag. What happened in the water? He can’t remember And when he glimpses a beautiful girl he thinks he recognizes, she runs away. Suddenly he knows he must find her – because together they must face the truth before it drowns them.

What’s The Drowning about? 

With ‘Numbers’ it was easy. ‘‘Numbers’ is about a girl who can see people’s death dates.’ See, all done in one sentence. But ‘The Drowning’ is more difficult to sum up. It’s a thriller about a boy who wakes up to see his older brother being zipped into a body bag. It’s a psychological drama. It’s a contemporary ghost story. It’s a twisted love story. It’s about families, and brothers. It’s about grief and regret. It’s about the power of water, something we all need, something that’s an essential element of our physical selves, but something that can frighten, harm, even kill.

There’s something else, too, a thread running through it that I didn’t even know was there until the second draft. And then it was staring me in the face. ‘The Drowning’ is about domestic violence – abuse between people in a relationship, which can often be repeated through the generations. Abuse can range from verbal intimidation right through to murder – in the UK two women are killed every week by a partner or ex-partner.

Traditionally the focus in the media and in professional support on domestic violence has focused on adults but in 2009, the NSPCC published a report which first identified the scale of abuse in intimate relationships of people aged 13-17. They found that nearly 75% of the girls that they interviewed had experienced some form of emotional abuse from a partner, and a third reported some form of sexual violence.

The Race on the Agenda (ROTA) report in 2011 echoed this and had some disturbing case studies. One 18-year-old girl from Manchester told her interviewer, ‘My boyfriend broke my nose when I was 15 and no one helped, no one has ever helped and I don’t know what they would have done to help anyway, he watched me all the time, especially at school.’

Often the abuser will try to isolate their victim, undermine their self-worth, blame them for the abuse. Increasingly, social media are used as tools to intimidate and bully. Facebook pages and other sites are mechanisms to extend exploitation, control and revenge.

‘The Drowning’ isn’t a book purely about domestic abuse, but it’s in there and it’s an important element. I write books which are grounded in reality, and sadly, part of our reality today is domestic violence.

No-one should suffer abuse within a relationship. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 55. It’s wrong for another person to abuse, control, intimidate or hurt you. If it’s happening to you, tell someone. If you’re under 18, a friend is a good start but then tell an adult, someone you trust, or call Childline on 0800 1111. And get some help. 

The Drowning is out now, available to buy as a physical book, e-copy and audiobook.

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  • Reply
    14 May, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I really enjoyed The Drowning so I looked for Numbers in the library but could only find the second book. I’m in the library today though so I think I’ll request it through the inter library loans scheme (the greatest invention EVER, by the way 😉 ). Great post!

  • Reply
    Rachel Ward
    14 May, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for hosting the first stop on my tour, Lucy. It’s a bit of a serious one to start with, but today’s news has reminded me how vital it is that teenagers (and younger) are listened to, believed and given the help they need.

    Hi Maya, I’m glad you enjoyed The Drowning. Hope you catch up with a copy of Numbers, too. Inter-library loans are, indeed, wonderful!

  • Reply
    Jack Dwyer
    14 May, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Rachel! OMG! Can’t wait to read The Drowning Lucy, I hope I enjoy it as much as you did 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachel Ward
    14 May, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Hope The Drowning lives up to expectations, Jack. I confess I was pretty nervous about how it would be received, being my first post-Numbers effort.

  • Reply
    Zoe Crook
    15 May, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I am doing a review of The Drowning soon as I read it a few days ago. I really enjoyed it – psychological dramas are so fascinating. I have the first Numbers book on my TBR pile so I must get round to it soon! Yay! 🙂

    Thanks for the great post, Rachel and Lucy 🙂

  • Reply
    16 May, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I’m really looking forward to The Drowning – a little scared to read it now, though!

  • Reply
    Tilly Currer
    16 May, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Great post, it’s so important to raise awareness about relationship abuse. I’ve not read The Drowning yet but I intend to! 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachel (Booktastic Reviews) :D
    18 May, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Domestic violence is a really upsetting thing and I can’t believe two women die from it every week! That makes me so angry! 🙁 I like it when YA books raise awareness of real-life issues. You can really appreciate it as the reader. I’ve not read a book by this author before but I think I’ll be picking up Numbers sometime soon and, if I enjoy it, The Drowning. 🙂

    Great post!

  • Reply
    21 May, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Great post! I read this recently and it was really good.

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