Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sea Changes-Gail Graham

Sea Changes
Gail Graham
Jade Phoenix, May 01 2009, $15.99
ISBN: 9780692001004

In Australia, Felicity no longer comforts her mom Sarah; she insists her mother move on with her life instead of still grieving her late husband Charles as almost two years have passed since the heart attack killed him. She tells her mom Charles was her dad and even his mother has moved on beyond mourning. The daughter also coldly lectures her mom over the annuity she accepted in which Sarah took care of herself only and complains that her mom’s shrink Dr. Kahn holds her back.

Sarah feels isolated from her family and decides to end her life at Bondi Beach with a final drowning swim. Instead of dying she finds an underwater civilization in which the occupants especially Xaxanader welcome the surface dweller. She soon is back on the beach wondering if what she saw is real until she returns to the sea world; especially afterward when Bantryd of the sea moves into her home with her in order to search for her parents who came ashore years ago. This happens at a time when missing teen heiress Jennyfer Blanchard who resembles Bantryd vanishes. Everyone sees the videotape that shows Sarah with Jennyfer; so Felicity, Kahn and anyone in the Brisbane area believe she killed Jennyfer.

This is an intriguing character driven fantasy with a deep message pleading with the survivor to seek a new groove when a life mate dies. Sarah’s overwhelming depression drives away her loved ones. Ultimately after finding life underneath the sea, Sarah must decide between memories fueled by grief and starting a new life to build new memories. She is a terrific protagonist who holds the whimsical yet melancholy story line together although the support cast feels too stereotypical on land and at sea as they exist only in terms of her. Readers will enjoy Sarah’s sea saga as she struggles to move on in her life following Charles. She considers suicide as the only solution, but learns there is so much more out there.

Harriet Klausner

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