Top positive review
Engrossing and poignant
Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2019
When We Believed in Mermaids is an engrossing, turbulent, and poignant book about two sisters, Kit and Josie. When the story begins, Kit is shocked to see her sister in the background of a news broadcast from New Zealand, thousands of miles away from their home in California--especially since Josie had been killed 15 years earlier. When she goes to New Zealand to find her sister, Kit unknowingly sets off a chain of events that will impact her own life, as well as that of her sister and the life she has built. Kit and Josie were such complex, fascinating characters, each of them reacting to the pain of their childhoods which left them emotionally scarred. The flashbacks in the story give so much insight to the horrors of their childhood; the neglect, the abuse, the addictions. But they also show us the love the two sisters had for each other, the closeness they shared until it all went horribly wrong. The setting of the book was fantastic, from the beaches of Santa Cruz to the beauty of New Zealand. And the surfing! The author's descriptions of the girls as they surfed from the time they were children made it feel like I was in the middle of those waves with them! The pages of this book are filled with love; love between sisters, the love of children for their parents, steadfast love, and new love; and how love can somehow withstand everything that threatens to destroy it.