The night Gabrielle Kelly attended her High-School Prom would change her life forever. Gabi went to prom with her (closet gay) friend, Asa, but it was the encounter with her adorable crush, Matt Brennan that would alter the course of many lives in the small town of Live Oak, Texas. In The Remains in the Pond, Ann Swann brings us a coming-of-age, mystery/thriller that takes us on a journey from Texas, to California, to Berne, Switzerland and back again. The chemistry between Gabi and Matt, on Prom night was undeniable and they appeared to be set for an interesting and torrid two weeks of romance, before Matt was due to head off to college. All that would change, however, when a horrific motor vehicle accident and a mysterious phone call from Matt’s cousin, Rose sends Gabi and her friend Asa into a tailspin.
In The Remains in the Pond, author Ann Swann brings us a story reminiscent of “We Know What You Did Last Summer”. The characters in this story are typical teenagers, trying to find their way in a world they’re not sure they fully understand yet. The character of Asa, a gay boy growing up in a small, rural, West Texas town and the angst he felt about revealing his sexuality, was particularly poignant. I liked that Gabi, no matter how hard she tries, cannot walk away from and forget what happened that Prom night. The author reminds us, through this story that all our actions have consequences and it is the “adult way”, to take responsibility for those actions. As a coming of age novel, with a few twists and turns, I found this story a very satisfactory read.