The Brothers Groth – Simon and Yours Truly – had an auspicious start to their collaboration with novel, Concentrate, being shortlisted in the 2009 Text Prize (although it still has yet to be contracted by a publisher…WTF).

The draft of the second B-Gro work, Infinite Blue, is underway and promises more YA lit of the highest order.  Here’s a blurb:

Infinite Blue

The Brothers Groth

Skye Sandalford’s boyfriend, Clayton Drummond, is earmarked for greatness.  Nineteen years old and propelled by size eighteen feet, he is the prototype of a swimming prodigy.  But his destiny won’t only be defined by world records.  Powered by ‘Team Drum’ – comprising career-plotting mother, Blythe, God-fearing father, Len, and an entourage of consultants – this good looking, articulate Aussie dubbed ‘Wake’ can transcend the boundaries of sport and fire the imagination of a world in search of heroes.

Skye, herself a gifted visual artist, is in awe of Clayton’s talent.  But their relationship stands apart from the vagaries of fame and fortune.  She adores the gentle, unaffected, grounded soul that resides within the star.  She appreciates that he’s more comfortable in the pool than in the public eye.  She delights in capturing his oneness of spirit when he’s immersed in water.  She loves him and senses they’ll be together forever.  And, though Clayton’s meteoric rise puts physical distance between them, though the maturity and motive of their bond is questioned, she knows he feels the same way about his ‘Blue Skye’.

Unlike true love, sameness of feeling is never guaranteed in life.  A terrifying car accident during a storm leaves Clayton a paraplegic; without feeling below the waist, bereft of the limbs that assured his glorious future.  Amidst the devastation and disbelief, Skye is by his side – caring, comforting, constant.  As rehab ensues and a return home initiates the pretence of moving forward, Clayton’s silent sadness remains palpable – a state an unflinching and unhinging Blythe attributes to the heartbreak of shattered potential.  Skye, though, understands the truth: it is not a lost career for which her soul mate grieves, it is a lost connection.  The knowledge that he can never be whole again in his beloved medium of water.

And that knowledge looms large as ‘Team Drum’ attempts to resuscitate its charge’s focus and hunger through a record-breaking, ‘Wake The World’ charity swim from Cuba to the United States.  Skye is fearful, both of Clayton’s resurgent eagerness for the challenge, and of the mysterious physical changes that seem to be pervading his broken body.  She is hounded by the devastating thought that this will be her man’s final swim, that one way or another he will choose the water over life.  And as the support vessel hauls anchor from Havana, and Clayton, surrounded by the shark-proof cage, commences the one hundred and nineteen mile swim that will see him remembered forever, Skye is faced with a choice:

Do I hold on to my one true love?

Or do I set him free?

Infinite Blue is an elemental story of unconditional love.  Combining the finest aspects of magic realism and youth literary fiction, it contends that life’s riptides are no match for a resilient heart.