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SWIM TO ME
BETSY CARTER
ISBN # 978-0-553-59148-4
September 2008
Bantam
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Mass Market Paperback
$5.99
325 Pages
Contemporary
Rating: 3 Cups

Delores Walker has always loved the water. It is the only place she is graceful and at home. Her less than ideal home life has always made the pool her escape. Now she is Delores Taurus, a mermaid at the famous Weeki Wachee Springs.

Lester Pagoda has always wanted to be a merman at Weeki Wachee. He has achieved his goal, but a terrible case of acne and teenage self-consciousness cause him to pick roles with masks. He also has a crush on the very attractive Delores.

Escaping a dysfunctional home, sixteen year-old Delores boards a bus to Florida, where she is determined to become one of the famous Weeki Wachee mermaids. During her time there, she learns a lot about life, love, and friendship. She even begins to understand her parents. A big Christmas production of The Merfather puts Weeki Wachee back on the map. Disney World had been crushing business in all the older tourist attractions.

This is a well-written coming of age novel with quirky characters and an unusual setting. Delores is faced with trying to make a life for herself away from her self-centered and distant mother and the brother she has been rearing. She feels guilty for leaving Westie, but made the best decision for all of them. She seems to have more structure in Weeki Wachee than at home. Her relationship with her fellow employees and Lester is well described, as is her reunion with her father who literally ran away to join the circus. The author does a great job of capturing the early seventies and a teenager’s journey into adulthood.

Maura
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

 

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