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The Seas

by Samantha Hunt

Water, water, everywhere ... Two desperately damaged people: the narrator, a young girl whose father disappeared when she was a child and Jude, a veteran of the Iraq war, older than her but whom she loves. They share an affinity with the sea and its capacity to wash away despair. She thinks she is a mermaid after a passing comment from her father. Jude has post traumatic shock syndrome and sees her as forbidden fruit. They finally succumb to love with tragic consequences for both. This is a fantasy the reader lives through as if from inside the young girl's head. Sad but strangely lyrical.

Extract

Then I tell her, 'Last night I was in the bath and I tried to speak to Dad. I told him "Jude is stone". '
'Your father’s dead,' she says and bites her lip. Then asks, 'What’d he say?'
'He said, "If Jude is a stone then he should sink like one." So I let the water out of the tub.' I turn toward her. 'I don’t want to be the mermaid who kills Jude, Mom.'
'Oh,' she says in a voice that sounds like the voice of a mother whose daughter just broke something, a piece of china or crystal and she is trying not to get mad about it. But in this instance the thing that my mother believes is broken is me.

Parallels

How Far is the Ocean From Here by Amy Shearn
 

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