Seven Drownings

photo courtesy of Michael Kimball

photo courtesy of Michael Kimball

by Michael Kimball

I’ve never been afraid of water. I’ve been a swimmer all my life. Summer days, vacations, my earliest best memories are swimming, diving off my father’s shoulders on Lake Chaubunagungamaug, riding the waves with my mother at Hampton Beach. In my suburban Massachusetts town, I took swimming lessons and earned my Junior Lifesaver certificate before my voice dropped. I could out-dive my sister and out-distance my friends underwater. So I was surprised to discover how many people drown in my novels. Sometimes two or three per book. Plummeting, tumbling, sailing over bridge railings and ridge tops.

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On the Death of a Character and the Life of a Woman

By Sarah Braunstein

In 1996, in broad daylight, 12-year-old Leonora Marie Colter was abducted while she walked down the street in New York City. She was forced into a car by a man and a woman.

A strikingly similar abduction experience is described in Jaycee Lee Dugard’s testimony of her 1991 kidnapping by Philip and Nancy Garrido. A man and a woman. Broad daylight.

A central difference in these two stories of abducted girls?

Leonora Marie Colter is a figment of my imagination. She is a character in my first novel, The Sweet Relief of Missing Children.

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