It is 1899, the last year of the 19th centry. Hannah Albury is a 15-year old orphan, who, since reaching proper age, is no longer allowed to stay at the Home for Little Wanderers, the orphanage she attends. When she is claimed "unsuitable" for any type of job in Boston, where she lives, she is sent on an orphan train out to Kansas, where there will be an auction for her. An older couple, a Reverend and his wife, feeling sorry for the girl, decide to take her in as thier own. However, Hannah is terribly sick. She has redness all over her, and whereever she goes, she leaves a salt-crystal-like trial. The doctors do not know what it is or what is causing it. But Hannah does. She knows it is that she is too far away from the sea and the ocean. She must get back. Upon telling her new owners this, they agree, but are a bit disappointed. So she catches the next train and heads back to the orphanige in Boston, where a new person has taken over. She is much nicer than the older woman. Mrs. Larkin, the new orphanige person, gives Hannah a book about being in the maid business and sends her off to an interview to work for the Hawleys. She gets the job. Lila and her cat, Jade, hate Hannah for many reasons. While they are on their trip to Maine, they try to hurt Hannah, so she swims into the sea to escape. Many strange things have been happening to Hannah. The salt and redness have gone, but she cries the crystals, and leaves the bath tub itchy, along with having scale-ish patterns on her legs. When she goes into the water, she descovers she is a mermaid.
Kathryn Laskey is a terrific author and I cannot wait to read more of her books, espiecially in the Daughters of the Sea series.
She is also a very descriptive writer, like on page 199, the paragraph:
"As they sailed by, Hannah caught a glimpse of a girl standing at the edge of one rock looking longingly at the horizon. Hannah inhaled sharply. It was almost as if she were seeing a mirror image of herself. The girl was the same height and had a willowy build that seemed to bend into the breeze. But mostly it was the way the sunlight caught the girl's hair. It was just after dawn and the reddish tones of her hair sparkled and seemed touched by a delicate greenish cast. In another few minutes the sun would be higher and Hannah knew that the girl's long, blowing curls would reupt in a dazzling conflagration of red flames. She felt something quicken instide her."
My favorite part of the book however, is probably page 217, when Ettie, the youngest of the Hawleys (only 9 years old), says ""She's so stupid."". Why is this my favorite part? Well because it proves that even back in 1899, kids will be kids and say mean and rather harsh and cruel things. It is proving that no time was a time when things were perfect and no one faught or called each other names.
So, would I recommend this book? Claro que si! Of course! Check out this book yourself, and you'll recomend it too!
Recommended for people 10 and up.