Sea Change, by Aimee Friedman
Miranda was planning a quiet summer vacation at home in New York City. She needed time to get over her cheating ex-boyfriend, and was looking forward to an internship at the Museum of Natural History. Then she receives word that her grandmother has passed away, and that her mother has inherited the family home on Selkie Island in Georgia. Her mother needs Miranda’s logical mind and organizing skills to put everything in order to sell the house. Miranda’s mom had been estranged from her mother ever since she married Miranda’s father (from whom she is now divorced). There is a history there with which Miranda is completely unfamiliar, but she’s about to learn all the sordid details.
Selkie is an island with strange mythological ties. It is said to have been founded by the descendants of mermaids and mermen, a claim Miranda does not entertain, relying as she does on science and reason. Instead, she focuses her attention on acclimating to her new environment. Selkie is very different from NYC, and the people she meets, her mother’s old childhood friends, and their children, are not what she is used to. They are summer tourists to the island, and while they are welcoming, they have different expectations of Miranda than her friends in New York. One important rule Miranda learns is, don’t mingle with the locals. Selkie Island is a vacation destination for affluent Atlantans, and those who live on the island year round, who make their living fishing, are deemed unworthy of their attention. But Miranda finds more in common with one local fisherman’s son than these summer residents. His name is Leo and they meet on the beach, the spot where most of their interactions take place. Leo calls the beach “the great equalizer”, as it is the one place where townies and tourists can interact as equals.
What could, at this point, remain a traditional summer love story instead becomes a romance mixed with mystery and a touch of the supernatural. Miranda has suspicions about Leo’s background, and despite her logical mind, finds herself getting caught up in the mythic qualities of Selkie. She must also deal with the fallout from her mother’s tense past with her grandmother, and her late grandmother’s own involvement with a townie. Miranda soon finds that she has more in common with her grandmother than she ever could have imagined.
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