Author: Michele Bacon
Pub. Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
When Erin Cerise steps off her plane in Christchurch, New Zealand, she is focused intently on her mission: do something unique that will erase the mess she made of her life days before her 17th birthday. She’s already lost her swim team captainship, her boyfriend Ben, and her reputation. Her mother is certain studying abroad will regain Erin’s chances of a good future. Once Erin sees her uninspiring host family and city, though, Erin’s not so sure.
Before Christchurch, Erin wasn’t always intense and focused. A mission used to sound like a fun adventure, and the only ivy she cared about was the stuff growing around her grandparents’ back porch at their peaceful Upper Peninsula home. When had her priorities gone upside down?
Now Erin balks at NZ’s scratchy school uniforms, cold houses, and her hosts’ utter inability to pronounce her name correctly. Christchurch does boast amazing rock climbing, gorgeous scenery, and at least one guy who could make her forget Ben if she lets him. With months ahead of her, Erin slowly begins to draw on the years behind her, one step back into her memories and then another, as she rebuilds her life from the other side of the world to find that when life turns your world upside down and you’re farthest from home, every way you move takes you closer to where you came from.
I am so happy to have read this book. Most importantly, I am happy to have discovered another amazing writer, because “Antipodes” is such an interesting book, from so many perspectives. It brings forward many family issues and much personal development.
Erin has had a privileged life in the US. Her parents offered her a certain status among her school mates, with a car and money to spend. But all these were in exchange of a life without affection from their side and with only pressure to excel at activities that were not to her liking. She has her life mapped out by her mother, whose expectations are hard to accomplish. When her life is drastically changed, she is sent to Australia, for an exchange experience that would look good in her application for one of the top universities.
She discovers a world completely different from what she was used to in America. She discovers a family that is grateful for what they have, friends that are true friends and most importantly she discovers herself. She does the things she really likes to do. It is a journey to self-discovery and achieving that state of mind that makes one proud, or at least satisfied with oneself.
The author has done such an amazing job presenting the various contrasts between Erin’s life in the States and what she has in Australia. We find out step by step what happened to her social life that she has had to travel to the other part of the world. We see the differences between her host family and her parents. While ones were focused on being there for her and support her in the competitions, the others were more focused on the results and on why she could not do better. There is a romance starting as well and again we have a contrast between her ex-boyfriend and the boy she likes here. But probably the most important contrast is between who Erin is at the beginning of the book and who she becomes during her stay abroad.
I could go on and on about so many things in this book. This is one complex novel that deserves a much better analysis than the one I can provide in my review. To keep it as short as I can, I am more than happy to have read it and I am forever grateful that I had the chance to discover this amazing author! I cannot wait to read more books by Michele Bacon. Give this book a chance, it is so worth it!
I was born in Trumbull County, the only square county in Ohio, where books were my favorite means of escaping an unhappy childhood. Writing was my transparent attempt to create the things I craved: big happy families, international adventures and unconditional friendship. From a young age, I was drawn to people’s stories, and I still want to know how you met your best friend or fell in love with your partner.
In high school, I embraced my inner geek and wrote my first novel. In college, there were short stories and still more novels. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in English, with concentrations in critical theory and creative writing.
Full-time work sapped my creative brain for several years, but my professional life was one of reinvention. In state government, business management consulting, and nonprofit fundraising, I adapted easily and absorbed the languages of different professions. My last paying job was as an independent fundraising consultant for nonprofit organizations. That was seven years ago.
Since then, I have been writing and traveling (and, let’s be honest, chasing down small people who don’t like to wear clothes). I’ve traveled to all 50 states and dozens of other countries, always collecting pieces of characters and ideas for stories. I recently spent a year on sabbatical in Christchurch, New Zealand, where I may have left my heart at Ilam School. Now that we’ve settled back in the States, I’m writing for adults and young adults, exploring the Pacific Northwest, and baking like a fiend. (You’d thinking baking would be the same everywhere, but it’s not. Something is different about kiwi butter.)
When an idea strikes, I scrawl sweeping plot outlines, character idiosyncrasies, and ideas for scenes on the nearest blank spot of paper. My current manuscript was born of those torn slips of paper, used envelopes, lollipop wrappers, fuel receipts and–once–that little paper bit that keeps a nursing pad sticky until it’s time to use it. My manuscripts are better than the quality of papers where they began. Promise.
Outside of writing, I am a tabletop game enthusiast, passionate skier, and lover of prime numbers. I also am a mentor at the Moving Words Writing Clinic, and a freelance copyeditor.
I live in Seattle with my husband and three growing children.
3 winners will receive a finished copy ANTIPODES, US Only.
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