THE SEA CHILD by Carolyn Sloan


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A fisherman raises his daughter till her mother returns from the sea to claim her. Since the great storm nine years ago, The Sands has been surrounded by swirling, violent currents, and seems inaccessible by land or sea. There, Danny has seen his beautiful daughter Jessie, the image of her mother Mara, reach her tenth year without seeing another human. Sadly sure that their time together is coming to an end, Danny shows Jessie a secret way Inland to visit the world of men--the remote British village of Misterne. There she is met by Lisa, a lonely girl who has somehow known she was coming. Among the older folk, Jessie creates a sensation. As another storm rises, she flees again to The Sands: later Lisa feverishly reports that Danny is alone and Jessie has gone into the sea. Sloan's story is poignant but inexpertly written: everything important happens in the past or offstage; the minor characters behave predictably; and, since Danny is resigned and Jessie doesn't struggle against her mother's Call, there isn't much conflict. Moreover, readers will need to be familiar with classic fisherman/mermaid folk-tales to fully appreciate this haunting variation.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1988
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Holiday House