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Publisher's Summary

The beautiful struggle of a girl desperate for the one relationship that has caused her the most pain.

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.

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

©2016 Kerry Kletter (P)2016 Listening Library

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I couldn't wait to walk

I listen to my audiobooks when I exercise each day. As much as I dislike exercising I found I could not wait to get out and walk so I could hear what was next. There was so much to love about this book. The characters, the twists and turns, imagining the different endings that could turn out. I highly recommend it

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Misty
  • Washington
  • 09-12-17

My heart drowned

Cassie grows up in an emotionally and mentally abusive household. It's not a secret and it's not something that she will walk away from easily, especially because her mother checks her into a mental facility at age 15. Now Cassie is 18 and has checked herself out of the facility. With no one to guide her through a free life, how will she navigate?

I found this book to be so completely soul destroying on so many levels. You go through playing the blame game, knowing full well where to place the blame but by the end you kind of wonder if maybe you were wrong about that. There are a few real heros in this book that make you want to jump into the audio waves and hug the characters. Cassie's best friend is just magical in her ability to forgive and to accept. Cassie's therapist makes me want to try therapy again. And that is saying something. Ha. The author, Kerry Kletter, although I do feel like she could have spent more time in certain places during Cassie's life and less time in others, really told a story that was so engrossing and emotional. Really, very good.

Jorjeana Marie is a favorite of mine. She plays rolls of young women so exceptionally but can also turn around and pull out a New Jersey accent or a male voice that is so believable, there is no questioning it. The audio quality was stellar as well. This is an all around 5 star audio.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A must read for girl's and women born to narcicistic Mothers

Save yourself the trouble of years of trying to figure out your relationship with your self absorbed Mother. All of the answers are here in this wonderful fiction novel. Excellent reader as well. Read this and be free! It was never you fault ❤️

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What an amazing read!

I couldn't have asked for a better story. Listening to this young woman struggle through her past to find her truth, I felt like I was reading a version of my own life story. Deeply moving.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Could not stop listening!

This mother/daughter relationship story transcends age groups. Kletter manages lyrical prose to awaken senses, humor to release tension, and uncanny insight to wars of the heart. I can relate to all three women in this story: daughter, mother, grandmother. Prepare to cry, laugh, and declare peace with your heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Deep and meaningful, a story of healing

What aspect of Jorjeana Marie’s performance would you have changed?

Sometimes her nose sounded blocked / stuffy and it was a little distracting. Her voice changed at weird moments and sounded totally different. But overall I felt like her voice was right for the character.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I loved the interactions between Cassie and her therapist.

Any additional comments?

I think the author describes some complex experiences in a very compelling and real way. Kept me on my toes as I was trying to figure out what was reality and why Cassie would have been committed to an institution.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Heartbreakingly Honest

This novel tells a beautiful, heartbreakingly honest story that will stick with you.

There is some trigger inducing material, but it is handled really well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written

Disturbingly beautiful and engaging with a troubled soul. The characters are complex and intoxicating to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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amazing book!!!!!!

really awesome, pulls you in and leaves you gasping for breath!!!! shows how some things can't some people can't change and you gotta rely on yourself

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Didn't realize this was a self-help book

I was really hoping to like this book, but the further the story went, the more it just seemed to drag. The story was predictable and the last 5-6 chapters seemed more like a section of the lasted self-help book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful