Monday, March 16, 2009

The Ocean Inside-Janna McMahon

The Ocean Inside
Janna McMahon
Kensington, Apr 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 9780758221971

On Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, Emmet and Lauren Sullivan raise their two children in a wonder loving home. However, their idyllic lifestyle takes a horrific blow when their youngest daughter nine years old Ainslie becomes critically ill.

Emmet and Lauren try their best not to neglect their teenage older daughter Sloan, but cannot help their focus has to be on Ainslie. Sloan feels increasingly like an intruder filled with anger, resentment and remorse as even their grandparents ignore her while taking a zillion photos of her ailing sibling. She begins to turn to reckless actions like swimming in the ocean at night alone and falling for her boyfriend Cal’s pressure in order to gain some attention from her parents.

THE OCEAN INSIDE is a profound look at what happens to internal relationships when a trauma crashes the lives of a happy seemingly well balanced family. The Sullivan foursome is fully developed with each having a unique personality so that the audience can see how they react differently to Ainslie’s health crisis. Lauren dives into charities; Emmett worries about paying medical bills; Sloan feels deserted; and Ainslie turns reflective as she knows how her sister, her parents, and the islanders feel. Janna McMahan provides a thoughtful contemporary tale that will leave her readers pondering how we would act.

Harriet Klausner

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