Page Count 384
Publication date November 2019/ Publisher Thomas Nelson
Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?
Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?
Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?
When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin?
This story is told through three perspectives over different timelines. Coral the little mermaid, Brooke a young woman residing at a therapy home and Merrick, a young rich boy from a broken family.
The separate stories and timelines are woven together in a clever and mysterious way, you know from the start they will cross paths and eventually they overlap to form a full picture.
Coral centres heavily around mental health, specifically depression, anxiety and suicide are all carefully handled and written with insight and clarity. The additional aspects of love, friendship and hope balance out the novel beautifully, making it a really heartfelt experience.
Instantly the comparison between what the merpeople call The Disease and the human affliction of depression is clear to see. I felt the Mer-King’s attitude towards his eldest daughters emotional states was a clear reflection of the less empathetic side of our own society.
The scenes of anxiety and panic are so accurately described I could feel my own pulse racing along with them, the writing is hauntingly beautiful in a way that made my soul ache.
I also loved the little inventive touches in the mermaids colloquialisms. Sara reinvented everyday phrases with a thematic touch;
‘Three shark fins distance’
‘Her insides turned to jellyfish’
‘Couldn’t carry it’s weight in goldfish’
They add an extra flourish and give the mermaid’s tale it’s own whimsical voice I really enjoyed.
I’d recommend this book to teen audiences and above. You can really feel the love and care poured into the creation of this book. A real treasure.
*I received an ARC of this novel from Thomas Nelson via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.