Clancy is a typical teenager living in a classic Australian country town trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs in the world. She doesn’t try to conform to the local teens with their identical highlights, claw nails, false eyelashes and fake tans. Clancy is an individual and has carved out her own place, (ironically) working part time at the Beauty Station, attending school, hanging out at the Nature Club and admiring Sasha Strickland from a distance. Her family consists of five people living separate lives under the same roof as the disappointments and pressure of life have caused them to withdraw into their own worlds.
Clancy’s Dad is working with a team on the road outside of town one night when two popular young people are killed in a horrific car accident. Many of the towns people blame him and this has significant repercussions for all the family.
It is easy to get drawn into the story as Clancy processes what is happening with her Dad and tries to navigate relationships with the admired Sasha Strickland and Nancy DeRosa, who has recently moved to town with her mother to make a fresh new start. The complexity and confusion of the relationships keeps the story fresh and unexpected as Clancy is swept along in the current.
Clancy of the Undertow is a story of resilience and reaching out instead of in. As Clancy learns more about herself and begins to open up to her friends and family she sees each of them in a different light. She finds understanding and support in unexpected places.