Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
A co-worker with connections in publishing told me that mermaids would be the next big thing now that the vampire craze is losing some steam. Lost Voices describes an interesting idea about the creation of mermaids. Mermaids are created when abused girls are near death; they dissolve into the sea and are reborn as these mythical creatures: vengeful creatures luring ships and their human occupants to their deaths in the cold seas.
Fourteen-year-old Luce was orphaned about a year ago and sent to live with her uncle in a small Alaskan fishing village. He was never kindly towards Luce, but in an alcoholic stupor he goes too far and the next thing Luce knows she is comfortably floating in the icy sea surrounded by other girls. All of these girls suffered abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to care for them (one girl was starved to death by her mother, another thrown from a moving car by hers, and the stories are each worse than the last). The mermaids have beautiful singing voices they use to lure the humans on passing ships to their deaths. But Luce doesn’t want to kill humans. She is upset with what happened to her but doesn’t feel that all humans should suffer because of what her uncle did. This is her struggle to fit in and do what she thinks is best.
This is one of the oddest coming of age stories I’ve read and I must admit I’m intrigued. First in a trilogy it will be followed by the second book next year.