Forbidden Sea

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In a small, superstitious island community, fourteen-year-old Adrianne Keynnman struggles to make ends meet for her family after losing her father to a tragic accident. Living a miserable life with an aunt who hates her, a passive mother who doesn’t do anything, and a younger sister that she constantly needs to take care of, Adrianne suffers both physical and emotional duress at home. In the town, she faces the judgment of the other inhabitants for being poor and is often picked on by kids her age.

One stormy night, Cecily – her sister – almost drowns but Adrianne saves her. While doing so, she has an encounter with a mermaid – a terrifying creature of the myths. Its eerie singing appears in Adrianne’s dreams, haunting her day and night, and Adrianne realizes that the mermaid wants her and not her sister. In the midst of a hard life on land and the frightening unknown of the waters, Adrianne and her story deliverĀ an incredible tale of strength and perspective through the book Forbidden Sea by Sheila Nielson.

This book is extremely interesting in the sense that viewpoint plays a vital part in the plot. For instance, mermaids are portrayed as evil, dangerous monsters and it’s a huge taboo to say, do, or have anything related to mermaids on Windwaithe Island. But as you keep reading, you discover that perhaps that is not quite the case.

Another powerful theme is inner strength and beauty. The protagonist is a poor, insignificant girl with short, choppy hair, and clothes that are constantly dirty and soiled in one way or another. The people of Windwaithe Island look down upon her (and her family) for she is considered neither worthy nor beautiful. But throughout the story, the reader will glimpse the true extent of the radiance of Adrianne’s heart. This concept in further explored towards the end of the book – this is about as much I can say without spoiling the ending.

All in all, this book is actually so good and definitely worth giving a shot.

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