The First Time She Drowned

by | Read by Jorjeana Marie

Published by Penguin Random House Audio/Listening Library

Cassie O'Malley has spent the past two and a half years in a mental institution—dumped there by her mother, against her will. Now, at 18, Cassie emancipates herself, determined to start over. She attends college, forms new friendships, and even attempts to start fresh with her mother. But before long, their unhealthy relationship threatens to pull Cassie under once again. As Cassie struggles to reclaim her life, childhood memories persist and confuse, and Cassie must consider whose version of history is real, and more important, whose life she must save.

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AudioFile Review

The First Time She Drowned

Jorjeana Marie masterfully narrates this story of mothers, daughters, and fractured relationships. After spending nearly three years in a mental institution against her will, Cassie O'Malley is not sure how to move forward with her life. Marie's narration pulls the listener into Cassie's frame of mind as she attempts to re-enter the world. Cassie spirals between self-reflection and defiance while confronting her unreliable memories and struggling to cope with her charming but toxic mother. Marie's deliberately flat and distant tone throughout most of the audiobook perfectly suit Cassie's internal thought process. This makes the moments when Cassie's rage breaks through all the more heartbreaking and realistic. N.M. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

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