Family dramas aren't usually my preferred genre but coming off the back of a traumatising thriller I needed a lighter read to lift my spirits (and stop the nightmares). Enter When We Believed in Mermaids, a tale of family complexity, addiction and secrets, well in some cases lies.
Meet Josie and Kit, sisters growing up in an idyllic California beachside cove but without strong parental support. When Dylan, an abused teenage runaway, enters their home he becomes their protector, but as the story unravels his effects on the girls' lives turns out to be a lot more complex.
The tale begins with a grown up Kit, an ER doctor with a neurotic cat, commitment issues and a recovering alcoholic for a mother. We discover Josie was killed 10years before in the Paris train bombings but both Kit and her mother spot a woman with striking resemblance to Josie in a news report covering a fire in New Zealand. Could Josie be alive? And if so why did she let everyone believe she died a decade ago.
Told through flashbacks the story of how two sisters who were so close ended up an ocean apart, with one thinking the other was dead, was really well developed and I found the past a much better read than the present. The backstory felt very believable whereas the action happening now felt far fetched and contrived. It was a bit ridiculous how easily Kit found Josie in NZ and we really did not need the holiday romance, I get it was a mechanism for the author to get Josie's emotions onto the page but it would have been much better if she'd kept a diary (would have ties into the fountain pens and the diaries found in the Sapphire House) as I was literally skipping over the romance and sex scenes. And not only was Miguel handsome and talented he was famous too - come on! And finally ending... I know tied with a bow endings are my pet hate but really this was so far fetched and overly saccharine.
Overall though this was a great light read which kept me well entertained and a welcome break from serial killers.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.