A spellbinding magical adventure. Master storyteller Helen Dunmore writes the story of Sapphire and her brother Conor, and their discovery of INGO, a powerful and exciting world under the sea. You'll find the mermaid of Zennor inside Zennor church. She fell in love with a human, but she was a Mer creature and so she couldn't come to live with him ...
A spellbinding magical adventure. Master storyteller Helen Dunmore writes the story of Sapphire and her brother Conor, and their discovery of INGO, a powerful and exciting world under the sea. You'll find the mermaid of Zennor inside Zennor church. She fell in love with a human, but she was a Mer creature and so she couldn't come to live with him up in the dry air. She swam up the stream to hear him sing, then one day he swam down it and was never seen again. He became one of the Mer people! Sapphire's father told her that story when she was little. When he is lost at sea she can't help but think of that old myth; she's convinced he's still alive. The following summer her brother Conor keeps disappearing for hours on end. She goes to the cove to find him, but instead meets Faro, an enigmatic and intriguing Merman. He takes her to Ingo and introduces her to a world she never knew existed. She must let go of all her Air thoughts and embrace the sea and all things Mer. After her first visit she is entranced -- merely the sound of running water makes her yearn to be in Ingo once more. Ingo blood runs strongly in Sapphy and Conor fears she will leave the Air world for good. He pleads with her to ignore her craving for the sea and stay safely in their cottage up on the cliff. But not only is Sapphy intoxicated by the Mer world, she longs to see her father once more. And she's sure she can hear him singing across the water! "I wish I was away in Ingo Far across the briny sea!"
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Publishers Weekly, 2006-10-16 Dunmore's (The Siege, for adults) richly imagined fantasy, her first for young adults, posits tension between two parallel worlds: one undersea, the other along the rocky Cornwall coast. Sapphire, 11, and her older brother, Conor, have grown up in a close-knit family, loving the tidal cove below their cottage. Their father, Mathew, a fisherman and photographer, adores the sea; on the other hand, their mother has, in her words, "good reason to fear" it. When Dad disappears, and part of his boat is found, the family holds a memorial service and moves painfully through grief. Even a year after his disappearance, Sapphy and Conor refuse to believe their father is dead, while their mother begins to move on, befriending a visiting diver. Mer children Faro and Elvira begin to court the siblings, introducing them to such marvels as breathing underwater and swimming with dolphins. Ingo, the undersea world about which their father sang, beckons overpoweringly, and Sapphy, who is drawn back there repeatedly, begins to understand the Mer language. A wise beekeeper, whom some suspect is a witch, seems to know Mathew's fate. She subtly intercedes as Sapphy vacillates, "cleft" between her Mer and Air identities, and also suggests that Ingo is "breaking its bounds," intruding into the Air world. Dunmore makes both settings riveting, and captures Sapphy's lonely struggle through the heroine's first-person narrative. Dualities skepticism and belief, collective memory and individual perception, the pull of Mer life versus Sapphy's family love persist to the tale's end and beyond. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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