A teen comes of age while her mother is dying of cancer in this paranormal debut.
Seventeen-year-old Meara and her mother live alone in Wisconsin until her mother discovers that she has terminal cancer and takes the girl home to a tiny seaside village in Nova Scotia. There, Meara meets her grandparents for the first time, as well as Evan, a university student. She also begins to have vivid dreams of a handsome young man by the sea who she soon learns is her long-absent father. She finally meets him in person and learns just what he, and therefore she herself, might be—thankfully, for once, it is not a mermaid. Even as she comes to grips with her heritage, she tries to cope with her growing love for Evan, especially when she realizes that she may have to choose between her new life or her new love. Meanwhile, however, her mother takes a serious turn for the worse. Risser keeps her focus on the little details of Meara’s everyday life, lending the book a nice, homey charm. The real heart of the book is Meara’s emotional struggle with her mother’s illness and her first romance. It’s hard not to suspect that the paranormal aspect, while central to the plot, is just there to sell the book in today’s paranormal-mad market.
A heartfelt story that didn’t need the magical sea creatures. (Paranormal romance. 12-18)