Author: Terry Farley
Title: Seven Tears into the Sea
Publisher: Simon Pulse (2005)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“Beckon the sea,I'll come to thee....Shed seven tears,perchance seven years....At the age of ten, Gwen Cooke had a strange encounter with a boy with dark, slightly tilted eyes. He came to her on the beach, whispered strange words in her ear, and then disappeared. Shortly thereafter, her family moved away from their seaside home and Gwen never saw the boy again.Now seventeen, Gwen is returning to her childhood home. Her nana asked her to come. But Gwen knows it's time to go back for another reason: She yearns for the sea. Perhaps the sea itself is calling to her. Perhaps the memory of the boy and his haunting words are drawing her back to the place they met. Perhaps it's time for her to face her destiny.” GoodReads’ blurb
By this point, you know my penchant for books that rely or retell traditional folklore, that do it right and that, to top it off, are interesting. You might have also notice my Selkie-love.
On all of those accounts, Seven Tears into the Sea simply excels.
The approach to the Selkie legend is probably one of the most loyal to the original Celtic tale that I’ve read to date, and that alone gave the story some serious points.
The storyline is not too complex, as it focuses mostly on the romance aspect, and on the way Gwen deals with her past and her everyday life, so don’t expect brutal, past pacing action. Funnily enough, though, this is another scored point for me: I wanted some paranormal YA where the balance of the world wasn’t hinging on the balance. It rendered the sweet romance much more tangible, and much more tragic.
Because there is a tragedy when one of the lovers belongs to the earth and the other to the sea, no matter how you look at it. And in spite of how bittersweet it was, I think the way the author chose to solve this conflict is the best way out.
The characters themselves are likeable, sympathetic, and fairly well developed. True, this holds to the main couple, as some of the secondary cast felt bothersome at times.
Actually, that’s my complain about this book: the secondary lines took too much time, too much space. We don’t meet our Selkie hero till the middle of the book, and while the scenes with Gwen’s Grandma are important, I think they might have been a little too lengthy. I wanted less coffee making, less pot cleaning, less girlfriends come-a-calling, and more actual romance.
The reasoning behind my rating is only the fact that I wanted more of Jesse, more progress in their relationship... And because the ending left my mouth hanging open in shock, and not exactly of the good kind. Still, Seven Tears into the Sea still is a very sweet, very tender, very touching novel, and I’d certainly recommend it if you like the genre, as it remains one of the best Selkie novels I’ve read yet.