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The Line Tender by Kate Allen

November 18, 2019

 

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature-the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter." – Rachel Carson

 

The words above were ones that stopped my heart right in the middle of the page.

 

They were words that we have all felt and needed at times.

 

They are words we all know by heart but wish we never have to experience.

 

They were the words of strength in times of grief, and light in times of darkness. 

 

And, they were the beginning words of a novel I will always cherish.

 

They were the first words of Kate Allen's beautiful story called The Line Tender.

 

 

Before reading the book, The Line Tender, I had no idea what a line tender was even. It was through my reading that I came to understand this saying, and it was through the story that I felt the weight of the job this role carries.


The tender diver is the person who carries the role of safety during a dive. This person holds the line to the diver. Through a series of pulls, the diver and the tender can communicate during times of distress. 


Knowing the role of the tender diver is symbolic of understanding the beauty and craft of this story. Lucy Everhart's tender was always her best friend, Fred. He was her glue when her mom died suddenly, and their friendship was nothing short of magical.


Already struggling with the terms of her mother's death and her father's grief, Lucy's life turns to complete shambles when a tragic accident takes the life of Fred. Without him, she is alone.

 

She is lost, and she is like a diver with no tender. No one is there to support her or feel her emergency pulls for the help of the diving line. Lucy must find the strength within herself to cope with the grief in her life.


Anyone who has experienced grief of their own will connect with Lucy and her story. Grief is one of those words and experiences that no one can truly understand until they experience it on their own.

 

It is one of those words that no one forgets once they have experienced their loss, and it is one that no one can tell you how to get it over. 

 

The Line Tender is a book that will touch the heart of anyone who has ever felt the hurt and loneliness that comes with grief and loss. 

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