The Way the Light Bends (Hardcover)
Philomel Books, 9780399547447, 400pp.
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
A powerful novel in verse about fitting in, standing out, defining your own self-worth, and what it takes to keep a fracturing family whole. Virtual twins Linc and Holly were once extremely close. But while artistic, creative Linc is her parents' daughter biologically, it's smart, popular Holly, adopted from Ghana as a baby, who exemplifies the family's high-achieving model of academic success. Linc is desperate to pursue photography, to find a place of belonging, and for her family to accept her for who she is, despite her surgeon mother's constant disapproval and her growing distance from Holly. So when she comes up with a plan to use her photography interests and skills to do better in school--via a project based on Seneca Village, a long-gone village in the space that now holds Central Park, where all inhabitants, regardless of race, lived together harmoniously--Linc is excited and determined to prove that her differences are assets, that she has what it takes to make her mother proud. But when a long-buried family secret comes to light, Linc must decide whether her mother's love is worth obtaining. A novel in verse that challenges the way we think about family and belonging. Praise for The Way the Light Bends "I fell into Linc's world and found myself changed by her journey. Readers will fall in love with her and her struggles." -Dhonielle Clayton, author of the Tiny Pretty Things series and The Belles "Achingly beautiful, honest and visceral. This is a must read for anyone who has questioned whether they belong." -Meg Wiviott, author of Paper Hearts "Linc's struggle to chart her own future, unfolding in graceful verse, makes a compelling read." --Kirkus Reviews "Give this book to any students who have ever felt invisible or who have ever struggled to feel at home in a traditional academic setting." --School Library Journal "The meshing of word choice and space integrates the protagonist's inner struggles with her undeniable talent as a budding photographer." --Voice of Youth Advocates "Rich with imagery that embodies longing and heart, a girl's desire to recapture what was, and her joy over discovering her own kind of success." --Booklist "The book tugs at the heartstrings by focusing on family dynamics and expectations that are universal experiences." --School Library Connection
About the Author
Cordelia Jensen holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches creative writing in Philadelphia, where she lives with her husband and children. She is also the author of Skyscraping. Follow her on Twitter @cordeliajensen.