About Katherine Fleet
Originally from Newfoundland, Katherine Fleet gave up the cold winters of Eastern Canada for the year-round warmth of the Caribbean. The slower pace of island life has given her time to pursue a long-time goal--becoming an author. When she's not writing, she spends her time baking, chauffeuring her three amazing, talented kids around, and having sun-filled adventures with her husband and wonderful friends in Curaçao. The Secret to Letting Go is her debut novel. You can connect with her at www.KatherineFleet.com.
Why I Love to Travel
Hi! I’m Katherine Fleet, debut author of “The Secret to Letting Go” from Entangled Teen. It’s a YA contemporary set in a fictional town on the Gulf Coast of Florida during that magical summer after high school graduation where the whole world is out there waiting for you. It’s the story of two teens, Clover and Daniel, who are both dealing with tragedies from their past and discovering what it means to forgive themselves and truly move on. But while life keeps throwing them together, their secrets keep them apart.
I’m so happy to be here and if you’ve visited my website, you’ll know that I love to travel. This love started at a young age. I grew up in a small city (St. John’s, Newfoundland) on the East Coast of Canada. My house was right on the flight path for the airport. I’d walk to school and watch the big planes fly overhead. Then I’d spend the rest of the walk wondering about the passengers – where they’d been and where they were headed. Fortunately, I was an avid reader and discovered books set in far corners of the world, letting me experience another location if only for a brief period.
I constantly bugged my parents to go places. When I was thirteen, I did an educational cruise to the Mediterranean, and when I was seventeen, I was lucky enough to attend a United World College in New Mexico for two years. There I met fellow students from all around the world, which further solidified my travel bug.
Of course, the reality of university and then family and career and budget considerations put a temporary hold on my travel dreams (although I was able to travel to France, Russia and the Middle East with my work).
Then in 2007, we were given the opportunity to move our whole family to the Caribbean. Of course, we took it! Finally, I’d have the chance to really travel and experience another culture and also share it with my husband and three children. Since coming to Curaçao, we’ve also travelled throughout the US and Europe. You might notice that I don’t say that I’ve vacationed in these places, because I’ve learned that travel and vacations are two different things.
Travel is an adventure. It can be frustrating, tiring and at times stressful, but it is also rewarding, enriching and life-changing. You learn about yourself when you travel. You learn how adventurous you are, if you are willing to take chances, and how far you will go beyond your comfort zone. I think this gets tougher as you get older. You tend to want to stick with the familiar. This is why I’m so thankful that I can expose my kids to these experiences while they are still kids. I see the way that travelling opens their eyes, makes them more accepting, and makes the world a much smaller and less scary place for them.
Of course, travelling also gives me a great chance to research locations for my books. My family now jokes when I suggest a trip. They say, “Let me guess – you’re planning to set a book there.” Then I normally shrug, look away and say, “Maybe…”
I know all writers are not able to travel to their book settings. Fortunately, with the amazing resources available on the internet, it’s now possible to write with great richness and detail about a location you’ve never been. But when you get the chance to travel to that place, you can really connect with it – you know what it smells like, sounds like and feels like – and that’s amazing.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Suze and Anniek for having me here!
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Review by Suze
Daniel is ready to go to college. He can't wait to move away from Canna Point, so he can leave his guilt about the death of someone he used to love very much behind. He's looking forward to an easy summer. Then he meets Clover, a new girl in town, who's different from anyone else he's ever met. She's beautiful, but also naïve and not world-wise at all. She's on her own and she needs saving. Daniel tries to make sure nothing will harm Clover. He wants to make her life better, but Clover has secrets. They are so terrible she can't talk about them. And when the truth comes to light, will Daniel still be there for Clover or will she be on her own?
Clover is such a sweet girl and it's impossible not to like her. She's kind to everyone and always thinks about the wellbeing of others, but she isn't sure about herself. Her secrets are eating away at her. Of course I wanted to find out what they were, but I also wanted her to have some happiness for a change. I immediately felt involved with her fate. I could understand Daniel's actions really well and enjoyed reading about him. Clover's life used to be strange and her childhood was completely different from Daniel's. I like the angle Katherine Fleet has chosen. It's original and for me it worked very well. I was both curious and intrigued. Clover's voice is unique, I loved the way she thinks and speaks.
The Secret to Letting Go is a story about mostly good and kind people, which was refreshing. Clover wonders about evil a lot though. The reason for this is her childhood. I think Katherine Fleet describes what happened to her in a sensitive and compelling way. I loved that she alternates between Clover and Daniel. Their voices are very different and it was nice to read the same story from two different angles. Clover carries a big secret with her, which is both moving and interesting. I think the plot is great. I can say nothing but good things about this book, it's an amazing debut.
Because Suze liked The Secret to Letting Go so much she's giving away a kindle copy of the book to one lucky reader of With Love for Books.
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