Written by: DM Sharp
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After years of living in poverty on an Indian reservation, seventeen-year-old Olivia Carter has been given the chance for a new life among the wealthy elite of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Yet despite the efforts of the uncle who is now her guardian, Olivia feels alienated from her privileged peers by her insecurities and memories of a traumatic childhood.
Desperate to escape the secrets of her past, Olivia turns to her love of water and progresses to become a championship swimmer. Her tenuous hold on happiness is destroyed, however, when Lucien Borgia, her only close friend, turns on her in a violent sexual attack. Crippling anxiety and depression put a stop to Olivia’s swimming career and, unable to speak out, she is placed on a cocktail of prescription medications. But she soon finds herself requiring more drugs than the Carter family physician can provide, and begins to resort to illegal means.
As Olivia’s life escalates out of control, an intervention is staged and she is sent to a rehabilitation program in Utah. Out in the wilderness and amid a series of gruelling challenges, she realises that she must confront her past and her addictions, and comes to experience friendship and love for the first time. She forms a close bond with Gabriel Carmichael, a young, grieving doctor, but he too has his demons, not to mention the ethical dilemma his relationship with Olivia represents. A departure and a death within the program leave Olivia feeling vulnerable again as she returns to Manhattan, ultimately to face up to the life she wanted to leave behind.
A disturbing run-in and the discovery of the presence of a certain someone in the city leave Olivia with a choice; either succumb to the lure of an addiction-fuelled abyss, or find the strength to pursue a new life. On the brink of decision, a final tragedy strikes and Olivia must ask herself, ‘Where will life take you when you want to die?’