“What have you outgrown this year?”
The was the question a character in “The Coming of Arabella” asked a group of women. It resonated with me.
This is the story of reinvention and family. While this is a great stand-alone book, it is actually a follow up to “Between Land and Sea” Book 1 of the Mediterranean Trilogy series. This story is told from the point of view of Barbara Davies, former mermaid who gave up her tail for a man and lost a whole lot more. Seems some mermaids have the same problems with men as human women can.
In “The Coming of Arabella”, Babara has worked hard and carved out a good life for herself. She is coming into herself. Then her sister, Arabella, shows up–in human form. Arabella is everything and has everything Barbara does not. She’s young and beautiful, cruel and insensitive. She’s the kind of sister you want to slap into next week. Or further. And she systematically ruins everything Barbara has worked so hard to create. Relationships, job and career, family– every single thing. Worse, every place Barbara runs to, there is Arabella. Again. Sabotaging her life.
This story will make you cry alongside Barbara at the unfairness we can all relate to. You will cheer her determination to continue to want to do the right thing, despite the cost. Barbara is not perfect. She’s made her mistakes, as have we all. She’s learned or is learning from them. She goes into things with her eyes open now, and her heart still on her sleeve.
And Arabella? Well, no one woman can have it all forever, now can they?
I thoroughly enjoyed “The Coming of Arabella”. However, I would suggest reading “Between Land and Sea” first for a better understanding of the Kingdom and mermaid tribes and the Mer-world Joanne Guidoccio has created. Since I was not familiar with the backstory, it sometimes took me a few pages to figure something out. My fault for reading them out of order. Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable story with plenty of unexpected twists to keep it unpredictable and interesting. And real enough that most people will be able to relate to.