Thursday, July 11, 2013

Swim to Me

Title: Swim to Me  Author: Betsy Carter Publisher: Bantam Books Pages:325

From: Amazon
It's a fresh start for Delores Walker when she boards a Greyhound bus bound for Florida. Leaving the Bronx far behind, she's headed for sunny Weeki Wachee Springs, frayed roadside attraction in danger of becoming obsolete with the opening of Walt Disney's latest creation, only miles up the road. Always more suited for a life underwater, Delores joins a group of other aquatic hopefuls in this City of Live Mermaids, where she discovers a world of sequined tails and amphibious theme shows that even Disney couldn't dream up. It's in this fantastic place of make-believe and reinvention that Delores Walker becomes Delores Taurus, Florida's most unlikely celebrity. 

Bringing together an eccentric assortment of outcasts, poseurs, and underdogs, this wise and poignant novel conjures up a time in America when anything was possible, especially in the Sunshine State. A story of family, chasing dreams and finding your way, Swim To Me will have you believing the impossible—even in mermaids from the Bronx.

I think it is the setting for this story that makes it so appealing- Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida- home of the famous mermaids. Delores Walker first sees the mermaids perform at age 14. An avid swimmer, she dreams of returning to Weeki Wachee and becoming a mermaid. Her father left home shortly after their return from the trip to Florida. Her self-pitying and unloving mother faded into a shadow of herself. The only hard part of leaving New York was leaving behind her baby brother, Westie.
It is 1973 and Delores' dreams are all out in front of her. Away from the sadness of her family, she comes into herself.
This isn't one of those hanging-on-the-edge-of-your-seat novels, but neither was it boring. It was interesting enough to keep the reader coming back. Interesting, also, was the brief appearance of Crystal Landy from Orange Blossom Special, Carter's previous novel. I think the most compelling part of the story, other than the setting, was the way Delores' parents changed for the better after they were apart. 
All in all, it's a decent read.

Read this story if...
*you like stories about families
*you like stories that take place in Florida
*you like stories set in the mermaid town of Weeki Wachee
*you like stories that take place in the 1970's

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