Synopses & Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Luce has had a tough life, but she reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside of a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid. A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in -- all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. Luce possesses an extraordinary singing talent, which makes her important to the tribe -- she may even have a shot at becoming their queen. However her struggle to retain her humanity puts her at odds with her new friends. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder? The first book in a trilogy, Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.
"In debut novelist Porter's bleak take on mermaids, first in a trilogy, the creatures are born out of human abuse and neglect. Luce is an unwanted orphan, living with her alcoholic uncle on the Alaska coast. When he tries to rape her, Luce simply gives up and slides away, falling off a cliff. She awakens singing in the ocean, watching strangers drown as a ship sinks. There are other singers nearby, who bully Luce, answer her questions, and welcome her in a way her peers on land never did. A mermaid's life turns out to be even more brutal than the one Luce left, but now the brutality is directed elsewhere at humankind. Still, Luce's conscience rebels, and she seeks some way to resolve the beauty of a mermaid's song with the horror of a siren's role. Porter's narrative style suits her oceanic theme; the vivid colors and particularities of life are smoothed away to plain clarity. Luce thinks about her world in ways that read much younger than her 14 years, but the simplicity of the style makes the darkness of the story more tolerable. Ages 12 up. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"In this haunting debut, Porter reworks mermaid mythology to tell a story of abuse, revenge, and forgiveness."Booklist
About the Author
Sarah Porter is a writer, artist, and public school teacher. Lost Voices is her first novel. Sarah and her husband live in Brooklyn.