Lena is drawn to the sea and wants nothing more than to surf with her friends. Her father was an expert but now won’t go near the water. Lena’s mother died when she was a young child. She knows that has something to do with the ocean but her father refuses to tell her the story. When Lena starts sleepwalking to the beach, her family starts to worry. During one of this walks, she sees a woman in the waves and becomes obsessed with seeing her again. After Lena almost nearly drowns, the woman saves her and slips a key into hand. She finds a chest which the key fits and finally learns the truth. Lena’s mother is alive, but in finding her, Lena will have to give up everything she loves on land.
I really enjoyed this book. I’ve always been fascinated by the Irish Selkie Legends. I was glad this story used some of the seals aspect in this mermaid lore. Madigan did a great job leading me along with just enough mystery to keep my interest. I love the way she describes the characters, like her father and her friends. The merworld is very interesting. The author does a great job of world building using details to create an interesting society. See my earlier post of Sea Change for another great read in mermaid fantasy.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
What did you think happened to Lena’s mother before the truth was revealed?
Talk about Lena’s relationship with Kai. How does your relationship change when you become more than friends with a good friend. What does that do to the rest of your friends.
Talk about the mer-world. Share the Selkie legends from Ireland.
What makes Kai different from the handsome merman Lena meets underwater.
Talk about how Lena’s mother was an outcast for marrying person who was different than herself.
Would you choose life on land or as a mer-person?