's Relationship With Caitlin In Breathing Underwater By Alex Flynn

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Breathing Underwater is a 2002 young adult novel by Alex Flynn that tells the story of Nick and Caitlin. Nick is sixteen years old who comes from a comfortable background and has a devoted girlfriend in Caitlin. Things, however, are not what they seem on the surface. His father is distant and abusive. Caitlin stays with him because of Nick’s controlling actions. The story is in part epistolary in nature with portions presented in the form of letters and as diary entries in which Nick chronicles his relationship with Caitlin.

As the story begins, Nick is in court learning that Caitlin has filed a restraining order charging that he beat her. He claims to have slapped her only one time, during an argument. He is ordered to undergo six months of counseling for anger management and to write five hundred words per week about his relationship with Caitlin in a journal. Nick begins writing with the background of how he met
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As Nick continues to write in his journal he realizes how manipulative he had been towards Caitlin. At school a teacher who has seen his bruises more than once, questions Nick. He does not share anything with her but she tells him that he should not think of himself as a bad person and that being only sixteen, he has time to change his life.

As time goes by and the last session arrives, Mario tells the class that he was once an abusive husband. Nick asks him if he can take the class again and gives Mario his journal to read. Finally, that night Nick stands up to his father when he tries to hit him. Upon starting his junior year of high school, Nick learns from Tom that Caitlin as moved away, but first she shared with Tom that Nick had been abused by his father. Caitlin told Tom that she believes Nick has changed. Tom and Nick reconcile and the year starts in a positive

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