Teens take flight to find life’s answersAge is merely a number; elementary school students have boyfriends and girlfriends and high school students become CEOs of their own Internet shopping malls.
Teenagers nowadays have quite a clear idea about what they know of the world and emphasize that their life is theirs. Parents are just an incredible stress to them. Regardless, they remain uncertain of one topic: What do I really want to do in life and what future should I dream of?
In “Shadows” by Tim Bowler, squash player Jamie is no different from the rest of the struggling teenagers. He loves the sport and definitely has talent, but he is about to break down because of school and home. His exasperation can be traced to his authoritarian father.
His father drives Jamie to the limit and berates him if he loses. Even when Jamie loses consciousness in a game against his rival Danny, his father scolds him and tells him to walk back home.
Jamie eventually runs away and is unexpectedly joined by Abby, who is pregnant and being chased by two villains. From here on, readers are drawn into the core of the book.
Why is such a young girl pregnant, and what has she done to run away? Such urgency and mystery makes it hard to let go of the book.
The two teenagers’ flight is dangerous but it’s also an important process for them to find answers to the problems in their lives.
If you enjoyed Bowler’s “River Boy,” his new book is highly recommended. It wisely depicts a teenager’s mixed feelings of hope, love, family and friendship, and the two teens’ fears and uncertainties are portrayed realistically.
Shadows was translated into Korean by Yoo Young and is published by Dasan Books. By Lee Do-eun