At 17, Gwen returns to the Northern California coastal town where she lived until she was ten. Her grandmother still runs a quaintly Celtic bed and breakfast there, and has broken her leg and needs extra help for the summer, so Gwennie steps in.
The problem is Gwen is still haunted by a sleepwalking event that left her out on the beach not long before her family moved away. It’s a small community and everybody knows that Gwen had to be rescued dressed only
in her nightgown in the middle of a dark stormy night.
It’s surely still the talk of the village how Gwen almost drowned, and that she never explained how she came
to be there in the first place, let alone with a naked, dark-eyed stranger. She doesn’t want to face those people who used to be her friends and neighbors. Perhaps she can hide out at the inn, working every waking hour.
The way Gwen remembers it, she saw a man walking out into the roaring surf and knew he would surely die. She walked in after him, calling for him to come back, but then she herself was taken down by a wave. The next thing she remembers the stranger was bending over her on the beach, having surely pulled her from the sea and saved her life.
The first chapter lured me in with its lyrical language, very much like a fantasy. I was a little disappointed that the rest of the story was told in a more contemporary, modern-day voice, but that’s what makes this book fit into the genre of magical realism. It’s a sort of “this could happen to you if you’d only believe” fantasy genre that can be a lot of fun.
Of course, Gwen meets her mysterious stranger again. Between him, her psychic grandmother, the townspeople, and a couple of rowdy friends from the city, life gets interesting, but that’s not for me to tell. Take a read if you’re interested.
Seven Tears Into the Sea is suggested for ages 12 and up.