64 pages 2 hours read

Watt Key

Terror at Bottle Creek

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2016

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Important Quotes

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“He’d been thin and wiry his whole life, but ever since Mom left he looked like he didn’t eat anything. She’d sucked the life out of him in more ways than one.”

(Chapter 1, Page 5)

Cort’s father has stopped looking after himself properly, and Cort is worried about him. Cort has already started to take on responsibilities that he should not have to carry, such as worrying about his father when his father should be looking after himself and his son. Perhaps most importantly, we learn that Cort is very much on his father’s side, resenting his mother for leaving and blaming her for his father’s lack of attention.

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“Now, even though Dad was right beside me, it felt like I was alone. And everything he’d taught me about the swamp seemed useless. I just didn’t see the point in it anymore.”

(Chapter 2 , Page 10)

Although Cort does not physically lose his father when his parents separate, he loses the close bond they previously shared. His father is so distracted by thoughts of winning back Cort’s mother that he is absent from Cort’s life. Through this loss, Cort also loses his sense of connection and belonging to the swamp, something that is strongly grounded in his relationship with his father.

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“But Liza had a different life and different friends. Friends with real houses and places other than a giant dark swamp to go on weekends.”

(Chapter 3, Page 15)

Just as Cort loses his connection with the swamp as he loses his connection to his father, Liza also began to withdraw from life on the riverfront after her father died, finding that it was no longer the same without him there.