Title: You, Me, and the Sea
Author: Meg Donohue
Published: May 7th 2019 by HarperAudio
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.58 out of 5
“As a child, Merrow Shawe believes she is born of the sea: strong, joyous, and wild. Her beloved home is Horseshoe Cliff, a small farm on the coast of Northern California where she spends her days exploring fog-cloaked bluffs, swimming in the cove, and basking in the light of golden sunsets as her father entertains her with fantastical stories. It is an enchanting childhood, but it is not without hardship—the mystery of Merrow’s mother’s death haunts her, as does the increasingly senseless cruelty of her older brother, Bear.
Then, like sea glass carried from a distant land, Amir arrives in Merrow’s life. He’s been tossed about from India to New York City and now to Horseshoe Cliff, to stay with her family. Merrow is immediately drawn to his spirit, his passion, and his resilience in the face of Bear’s viciousness. Together they embrace their love of the sea, and their growing love for each other.
But the ocean holds secrets in its darkest depths. When tragedy strikes, Merrow is forced to question whether Amir is really the person she believed him to be. In order to escape the danger she finds herself in and find her own path forward, she must let go of the only home she’s ever known, and the only boy she’s ever loved…. “
While this book is told from Merrow’s point of view, it’s the story of both Amir and Merrow. The difficulties they faced growing up under the thumb of Merrow’s aggressive older brother, both know the loss of a parent, know what it is to be poor, and yet they are soulmates that were destined to find each other. They were lucky enough to find each other early in life and while they never thought they’d leave their childhood home nor each other, they find that anger and fear can easily lead to betrayal.
Without to many spoilers, I’m going to jump right in and say I loved this book. Donohue is an artist with words. I flew through this beautifully told story of two children growing up in a world against them. I could practically feel the ocean breeze on my face as I read certain paragraphs of this book and could taste the salt on my lips. The word play and the magic they inspired was remarkable. It’s purely for Donohue’s prose that I’ve given this book 4 stars!
In terms of the story line however, I just cannot get on board with the ending, which is where the book went from a 5 star read down to a 4. I was good until the last 30 pages, where Merrow leaves behind Will, her security, everything that she has gained since leaving home for Amir. I wanted Merrow to be a strong young adult and maybe she is for making such a ‘heavy’ decision. For me though, Amir left in a fit of anger. Hasn’t talk to Merrow in 9 years, waltz(ish) back into her life when he finds out she’s engaged, wants them to be together, and that’s it folks. Morrow tells Will less than 2 days later that she’s leaving him, her job, and her new family all to move back to her home, with the man who deserted her for almost a decade. Are you kidding me??? Maybe I’m a cynic, but it’s just to outlandish for me to even comprehend.
Overall, I did really found this book to be a beautiful story. I so loved all of the extra stories from Merrow’s imagination. I love how good Merrow’s character and in turn Donohue is with words, but the ending just makes me cringe. If the ending had been ever so slightly different, this would have been an easy 5 star read for me. If you love a heartfelt and lyrical love story you will adore this book. It’s out today, get it HERE!
Thank you to William Morrow team for my advanced copy of this book!