I’m reading a few books at once right now, but this one stopped me in my tracks! Let me know in the comments below if you also have the problem of reading too many things at one time.
THE SUMMARY: The narrator of The Seas lives in a tiny, remote, alcoholic, cruel seaside town. An occasional chambermaid, granddaughter to a typesetter, and daughter to a dead man, awkward and brave, wayward and willful, she is in love (unrequited) with an Iraq War veteran thirteen years her senior. She is convinced that she is a mermaid. What she does to ease the pain of growing up lands her in prison. What she does to get out is the stuff of legend. In the words of writer Michelle Tea, The Seas is “creepy and poetic, subversive and strangely funny, [and] a phenomenal piece of literature.
When you strip away a lot of the details about this story, this is a tale of loneliness. Our narrator finds it difficult to connect to the few people that live close to her. The only person close to her is Jude, the man she is in love with, and while she does everything with him, she is not in a romantic relationship with him. This is agonizing for her, and most of the details of her life feel like her wanting, wanting, wanting. She wants to believe she is a mermaid because she does not connect with our world. While she does and says many strange things, I was struck not only by her quirkiness, but by her brutal honesty for how isolated she feels.
Her thoughts are rich and clear, even when they are dripping with hyperbole, which I found amazingly refreshing.
One of my favorite parts of this book was funny enough, but stayed with me as a perfect example of the tone of sadness in the story. Our narrator is listening to her own heartbeat with a stethoscope in the bathroom. She sees mold above the shower and holds the stethoscope up to it, saying that she hears the mold say, “We never would have left the ocean had we known what a horrible place this is.” And the narrator says, “Me too.”
So anyway, 5 stars for this book, but seriously, I would give it 5 million stars if possible on Goodreads. Check out my account here. Has anyone else read this book that would like to share their experience? And have you found anything else like it that I could pick up next? Tell me everything.
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