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When We Believed in Mermaids: A Novel Kindle Edition
An Amazon Charts, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller.
From the author of The Art of Inheriting Secrets comes an emotional new tale of two sisters, an ocean of lies, and a search for the truth.
Her sister has been dead for fifteen years when she sees her on the TV news…
Josie Bianci was killed years ago on a train during a terrorist attack. Gone forever. It’s what her sister, Kit, an ER doctor in Santa Cruz, has always believed. Yet all it takes is a few heart-wrenching seconds to upend Kit’s world. Live coverage of a club fire in Auckland has captured the image of a woman stumbling through the smoke and debris. Her resemblance to Josie is unbelievable. And unmistakable. With it comes a flood of emotions—grief, loss, and anger—that Kit finally has a chance to put to rest: by finding the sister who’s been living a lie.
After arriving in New Zealand, Kit begins her journey with the memories of the past: of days spent on the beach with Josie. Of a lost teenage boy who’d become part of their family. And of a trauma that has haunted Kit and Josie their entire lives.
Now, if two sisters are to reunite, it can only be by unearthing long-buried secrets and facing a devastating truth that has kept them apart far too long. To regain their relationship, they may have to lose everything.
About the Author
Barbara O’Neal is the author of twelve novels of women’s fiction, including The Art of Inheriting Secrets, How to Bake a Perfect Life, and The All You Can Dream Buffet. Her award-winning books have been published in more than a dozen countries, including France, England, Poland, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Brazil. She lives in the beautiful city of Colorado Springs with her beloved, a British endurance athlete who vows he’ll never lose his accent.
"An emotional story about the relationship between two sisters and the difficulty of facing the truth head-on." --Today
"There's a reason Barbara O'Neal is one of the most decorated authors in fiction. With her trademark lyrical style, she's written a page-turner of the first order. From the very first page, I was drawn into the drama and irresistibly teased along as layers of a family's complicated past were artfully peeled away. Don't miss this masterfully told story of sisters and secrets, damage and redemption, hope and healing." --Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"More than a mystery, Barbara O'Neal's When We Believed in Mermaids is a story of childhood--and innocence--lost, and the long-hidden secrets, lies, and betrayals two sisters must face in order to make themselves whole as adults. Plunge in and enjoy the intriguing depths of this passionate, lustrous novel, and you just might find yourself believing in mermaids." --Juliet Blackwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Carousel of Provence, Letters from Paris, and The Paris Key
"In When We Believed in Mermaids, Barbara O'Neal draws us into the story with her crisp prose, well-drawn settings, and compelling characters, in whom we invest our hearts as we experience the full range of human emotion and, ultimately, celebrate their triumph over the past." --Grace Greene, author of The Memory of Butterflies and The Wildflower House series
"When We Believed in Mermaids is a deftly woven tale of two sisters, separated by tragedy and reunited by fate, discovering that the past isn't always what it seems. By turns shattering and life affirming, as luminous and mesmerizing as the sea by which it unfolds, this is a book club essential--definitely one for the shelf!" --Kerry Anne King, bestselling author of Whisper Me This--This text refers to the mp3_cd edition.
- ASIN : B07MV8SWZF
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (16 July 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 1687 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 349 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1542004527
- Best Sellers Rank: 594 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in Australia on 3 November 2020
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There are 2 things that I want in a book. Firstly not wanting to put it down (pity about the housework) and secondly not wanting the book to end. The book for me was easy and entertaining and certainly met the criteria.
The content was thought provoking and navigated skilfully thé affects of childhood trauma long term. I will definitely be seeking more of the author’s work.
A must read.
What followed was a compelling, raw, and very sad story, Barbara capturing the essence of a complex and battered family. What I loved most was the layers the author built into the tale, with reoccuring memories from the two sisters which allowed the reader to understand the backstory - an integral part of the plot.
Aside from a bit of an odd storyline with Mari and Sapphire House (which kind of fizzled) and some dragging parts, I still found this a captivating read - highly descriptive and intensely emotion. Very deserving of 5 stars.
A story woven through with family trauma and neglect.
Take a spot of chance, leaps of faith, fear and unresolved issues; then add a heartwarming, soul searching story about family about eventually being able to make for change in your future...
Thought provoking story telling with some raw and real characters
The characters so real and each of them vying for your attention and urging you to want to know more about them.
A wonderful depiction of two very different, rivalling sisters each wanting to be heard but losing themselves in trying, only to grow up into beautiful women who find there love was deeper than all their differences.
There was definitely a lot of truth about family life situations in this gorgeous read.
I read it cover to cover, and immersed myself in the story. Now that I have finished the book, I feel a sense of loss.
The characters were believable and authentic, and like a true love story, it all comes together in the end 💝
Top reviews from other countries
The book was for me a little slow places but I did persevere and I am so glad I did. The book drew me in and the characters got under my skin and came to life. As I approached the middle of the book I struggled to put it down as the threads started to come together and the tragic pasts were revealed.
The two sisters are the total opposites. Firstly, there is a Kit, she's worked hard to be a doctor and now works in the ER department. He job and surfing is her life along with her cat, Hobo. She's lives near to her mother and near to the sea. Her sister Josie was wild and reckless falling in with the wrong crowd as a teenager she ran off to Europe where she was caught up in a terrorist attach and presumed dead. When Kit spots a woman who looks the spitting image of Josie she sets off to New Zealand to find out the truth.
Mari, previously known as Josie, is not all she seems. She is living the perfect life under the guise of a terrible lie. The one thing she doesn't want to happen is for her sister Kit to appear out of the blue and destroy her web of lies but the things soon spiral out of her control.
This book seamlessly flicks between the past and the present. Both the sisters did not have the prefect upbringing and when a lone boy named Drew enters the family they both fall in love with him but Drew is damaged beyond repair and they are saving him and much as he is saving them.
I enjoyed getting to know the complex character of Drew. His story was never fully revealed but the author cleverly drip fed enough information about him to make him intriguing and mysterious. I still don't know if I loved him or hated him.
I loved the way that this book gently dug into each characters hopes and fears and portrayed them as the damaged individuals that they are. The scars that they'd all accumulated along the path of life would probably never truly fully heal but they were starting to try and move on.
Both sisters had one thing in common and that was their love of surfing. A sport that they undertook that enabled them to forget about life for a short while and be at one with the sea.
This book although a slow burner for me soon had me hooked. A story of love, loss, heartbreak and unbreakable bonds. Everything I love in a book.
Both sisters write in the first person and because Josie writes as Mari, the name she has assumed in her new life, I got confused about which one was Josie. Not a lot happens for much of the book and I'm not sure if the author is a good enough wordsmith to carry that off. Of course her writing is very good but she isn't poetic and she doesn't use the analogies that carry a story along when not much is happening. However, as the book nears its climax the pace picks up.
There are quite a lot of American words in the book that aren't used in England. Some I assume are surfing terms, a few I'd heard of, others, e.g. cup towel, I guessed from context. Some, like a Henley, I had to look up on line.
One of my regular complaints is that an author doesn't know when to stop and that was true of this novel. Personally I found the ending sugary.