Meet Charla Swann
jump, balance beam, 100-meter freestyle, heptathlon. She's nationally
ranked at all of them. And more. The most gifted athlete her coaches have
ever seen. The perfect kid. What's she doing on this floating reformatory?
The stress was building like steam just below the surface. Up at four
a.m. to be in the pool by five. The drive to reach that next personal
best. Her father and his ever-present stopwatch. The pressure to pick
a single sport. "It's your ticket, Charla!" Her ticket out of a
bleak neighborhood, with little money and even less hope. Her ticket to
a better life.
And then … disaster.
As she steps aboard the Phoenix, Charla Swann reflects that her
life could not possibly get any worse.