Passing Notes. In Books.

Seira Wilson on June 20, 2017

WordsInDeepBlue200Cath Crowley won over many YA fans with Graffiti Moon a handful of years ago, and her new novel, Words in Deep Blue will win her many more.  Words in Deep Blue is the story of Henry and Rachel, fast friends who share a love of books and working in Henry's family's second hand bookshop, Howling Books.  A misunderstanding and a move put an abrupt end to their bond, but years later Rachel and Henry end up back in each other's orbit, at a time when they need each other the most. 

One of the beautiful things about Words in Deep Blue is that it's also largely about the powerful connection we can feel to an author's words and stories, a connection shared by people known to us and complete strangers. It's why we dog ear pages, highlight passages, and commit lines to memory.  In this story, one of the things that makes Howling Books special is the Letter Library, that holds books with notes in the margins, inscriptions, passages circled--physical evidence of meaningful moments on the page.  The books are not for sale, but anyone can write in them, and, like a secret post office, some leave letters to strangers and loved ones between pages. 

Words in Deep Blue is 288 pages of love, loss, and second chances, that brings to mind thousands of other pages that have passed through our hands and our hearts, and the people we've shared them with.  Here are a few excerpts from the book, of where, as promised, love lives between the lines...


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A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
"Mum talked about Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad , and she looked kind of sad when she explained to George and me that time is the goon, that it pushes us around. occurred to me that maybe love is the goon that pushes us around. 'Maybe,' Dad said when I mentioned it to him later. 'But I like to think of love as being slightly more forgiving than time.'"

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Written on title page
"Dear Sophia, for you, on this first day of our new life in the bookstore. See page 508, Michael."

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The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013 by Derek Walcott
"For as long as I've been book hunting, as long as the shop's been open, Frederick has been looking for a particular edition of Walcott poems.  He could order a new copy, but he's looking for a secondhand one. ..He's looking for a particular book that he owned once, and something like that, he's likely never to find."


*Words in Deep Blue is our spotlight pick for the Best Young Adult Books of June


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