Our Brief Hours of Play

by J.S. Cromartie



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 6/15/2022

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 280
ISBN : 9781665722698
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 280
ISBN : 9781665722704

About the Book

Our Brief Hours of Play is the story of two young people attempting to navigate the unsettled currents of adolescent friendship. Told in the format of two separate journals, the novel begins when Mark, a rather sheltered upper middle-class“jock, rescues a mysterious classmate of his named Misha from a pool because somehow at 14, she does not know how to swim. In offering to teach her, Mark becomes intrigued by her enigmatic view of life. Her subtle quips add to the mystery: "It costs nothing if you've got nothing to lose." Mark longs for their friendship to become something more, but Misha responds, "no, please, just be my friend. That way I don't lose you." Their friendship blossoms until the fall when they must go their separate ways–he to a private high school, she to a large urban school. Although this puts a strain on any time together, their relationship continues until one day Misha simply disappears. Months later, their paths cross again, but the encounter is stilted and awkward until Mark discovers why. Finding her journal accidently left in his car, he reads it and learns about the desperate world Misha is a part of, where she has experienced abandonment, eviction, sexual assault, and where even now, she is considering suicide. Mark attempts to rescue her again, but the effort this time is far more difficult than diving into a pool. Mark must learn to live with ambiguity and loss, even as Misha seemingly disappears from his life again. Ultimately the story is about a hard-won hope, and the miracle of a friendship that stands the test of time.

About the Author

Jennifer Cromartie is a day-dreamer, kayaker, and middle school humanities teacher who believes that the friends that last are the ones you learned to laugh, cry, fight, play with – and sacrifice for. She is inspired by the many who have gone the distance with her – from her childhood classmates in South Korea to her former students now scattered across the globe. Jennifer is grateful for her amazing kids – Ethan, Eric and Heather –who have supported her through it all.