Author: Sarah Ockler
Provided Synopsis: The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.
Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.
Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.
When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…
Review: After an accident at sea takes away her ability to speak, and most importantly: to sing, Elyse goes to Oregon for the lack of anything else to do. There she hopes to be left alone, and come to terms with the new reality that is her life. Instead, she is swept up in the storm that is a small-coastal town on the cusp of large-scale development, all of which hinders on a bet that she can impact if she overcomes her fears and regains her voice.
To say that I loved this book is a bit of an understatement. I was transported to the town of Atargatis Cove, to live among these characters, and to understand Elyse. Within this story is the incorporation of so many important issues, such as the loss of identity in the light of corporate development and the confinement of gender roles and expectations.
Even more significant is the discussion of speech versus voice, and how Elyse learns that one does not necessitate the other. So many of these characters have lost their voice, or had it taken from them; they must overcome their fears and reconstruction of long-term dreams. To go on this journey with Elyse and Christian was everything that this book promised to be. I do not just recommend that people read this book; I encourage it, as it is one of the best contemporary stories I have come across in a very long time.