Monday, July 20, 2009

Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley

Beckon to the sea,
I'll come to thee...
Shed seven tears,
Perchance seven years...

As a child, Gwen lived by the sea. One night, she met a mysterious boy who told her a haunting rhyme. Soon after, her family moved away, but she never forgot the boy.

Now, seven years later, Gwen is returning to her childhood home at the request of her nana. But by the sea, old dreams--and fears--are resurrected...

Powerful and compelling, Seven Tears is the type of book that is simply captivating. It dives into mythology, pulling on the Celtic myth of selkies, which are seals that can shed their skins to become human.

Apart from the mythology element, the characters are deep and well thought out. Gwen is understandably different when compared to her ten-year-old self, and she proves it when confronting Zack. And just as she is no longer the sweet little girl who fixed his bike, Zack is no longer afraid to take action. Their fights with their personal demons feed well into the overall plot.

The ending is not what I expected, and it's intense to the last page. For more discussion on it, keep reading.

SPOILER ALERT! I tried to make it harder to accidentally read the ending. Remember NOT to read until you've read the book!!!

Ohmygosh, this is a sad ending. I mentioned in my last post that I was traveling while reading these; on the airplane I was pounding my head with the book muttering "This can't happen. This can't happen." (If anyone thought I was crazy, at least I'll never see them again.) I realized what was about to happen several pages before Gwen did--as soon as the poem was fully explained--and I was trying to convince myself there would be a happy ending.

No luck. In the last six pages, my hope of Gwen and Jesse getting their happy ending died. I should have remembered from a selkie book I read years ago: selkies will always love the sea. Jesse didn't have a choice in the matter; he had to return. And even through my denial, I realized Gwen exhibits true love when she lets him leave.

Finally, switching to Jesse's perspective, past, present, and future are tied together, and leaves the hope of reunion.


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