TITLE: A WORLD AWAY
GENRE: YA - Contemporary
Dear Ms. Paquette:
Ivy Ransom’s seventeen-year-old palate has died and gone to heaven when her family trades small-town Wisconsin for a five-month stay in Chennai, India. As an aspiring chef, she leaps at the chance to try new recipes and expand her repertoire of spices.
But staying in heaven requires a hellish compromise—top marks in all her online classes. Not only is her father a teacher, but her mother is a former professor who is dead set on getting her daughter into Harvard. If Ivy can’t keep up her grades, she’ll be back in Wisconsin before she can master the art of the perfect dosa.
Although Ivy would rather explore Chennai than spend hours at her studies, she manages her daunting workload. She even adheres to her mother’s strict no-dating rule, despite her feelings for Raj, an Indian-American expat who’s become her confidante. As their relationship heats up, Ivy struggles to balance cooking lessons, schoolwork, and stolen kisses. For once, she’d like to take control of her life, but defying her parents could put a swift end to her India adventure and crush her romance with Raj.
Complete at 79,000 words, A WORLD AWAY is a young adult contemporary novel that will appeal to readers who enjoy books set in far-flung destinations. The story was inspired by my own experiences, living with my family in South India.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
When it comes to late-night misery, the only thing worse than jet lag is sharing a bed with a squirmy eleven-year-old. I jab Miles with my elbow. “Quit kicking me.”
“I can’t sleep. And I’m thirsty.” He sits up and pushes the covers away. “Do you think it’s okay if I fill my water bottle from the tap?”
“Remember what Dad told us? We can’t drink the tap water here.”
“Could we go buy some? I think I saw vending machines when we were up at the pool.”
Chances are good our parents won’t miss us. They’re crashed out in the bed next to ours, snoring away. But it’s almost midnight and we’re eight thousand miles from home, at a high-rise hotel in India. These aren’t normal conditions.
“Please, Ivy?” Miles says. “Otherwise, I’ll never get back to sleep.”
“Fine. But let’s be quick. If Mom wakes up and sees we’re gone, I’m the one that’ll get in trouble.” The last thing I need is another lecture on responsibility.
I scrawl a note and leave it on my pillow: Went to get water. Back in five. Following Miles into the hall, I ease the door shut behind me.
When we emerge from the elevator onto the roof, hot, smoggy air envelops us. The pool is eerily silent, the light shimmering off the water. From below, the barrage of horns melds into a noisy blur. I wonder if New Delhi is like New York—a city that never sleeps.