Saturday 7 September 2019

You, Me and The Sea

Finished August 22
You, Me and the Sea by Meg Donohue

Merrow Shawe has had an unusual life, Now, she's about to marry the man she loves and things should be feeling good, so why is she suddenly feeling haunted by the past she's left behind. This novel starts with the present, and then takes us back into Merrow's childhood, where she grows up without answers around her mother's death, neglected by her father, and abused by her older brother, Bear. Merrow's parents met in the 1960s when her father Jacob came west to find his future. Her mother, Marigold, was living in a commune called the Freedom Collective near San Francisco, and Jacob joined it too. After a few years, Jacob had saved enough money from his other work off commune to buy a property called Horseshoe Cliff near Osha, a small hippie town. They grew much of their own food, and made a life together. But Marigold died when Merrow was just a baby, and her father doesn't talk about her. A neighbor named Rei, an older Japanese woman, helps out with taking their produce and handcrafted creations to sell in the city. She brings food and provides advice. When Merrow is five, her father gives her a dog that she grows very close to, and when she is nine, he leaves one day, and comes back with Amir, a young boy from India, the adopted son of her mother's best friend who has recently died. Amir and Merrow grow very close, but Bear's abuse grows stronger and now includes Amir as well.
As Merrow and Amir struggle with an increasingly difficult home life, a way out presents itself, and Merrow finds herself considering it.
As we gradually learn what has brought Merrow to the point in her life that was introduced at the beginning, we also find her internal struggles for those she loves.
A great read.

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