The Crossing (Daughters of the Sea, #4) by Kathryn LaskyThis review is for the last(?) book in a series, so elements spoken of is this review might be spoilers for previous books. Just a fair warning.
The Crossing is the fourth, and possibly last, book in the Daughters of the Sea series. It deals with the three sisters (Hannah, May, and Lucy) learning how to live with their mermaid selves.
I came away from this book feeling very unsatisfied. Although it was a very interesting take on the mermaid legend, the specifics for how mers work in this world dont feel very well thought out. Things told to us in the first book dont seem to apply in the last book, and plot conveniences seem to be a dime a dozen.
For example: The Laws of Salt. This is the ingrained code of conduct that all mers live by, as well as rules for how their transformation and underwater life works. However, the Laws seemed to work far more often as a convenient way for Ms. Lasky to have her characters sense things that they have no way of knowing. For example, in the first book, Hannah knows instinctively how to play a harp, and play it well. In the fourth book, its told to us that she plays better than even a concert harpist. How can she play so well, and knows she can play, the first time she so much as lays eyes on a harp? The Laws of Salt. All three sisters feel a void where the two others should be. How do they know that they have two other sisters, and know that one day theyd all be drawn together? The Laws of Salt. Way across the ocean, in Scotland, their aunt keeps tabs on their progress. Not only does she find out that all three live, she can tell when they each cross over (become aware of their mer nature), and even when theyve found each other. Why? Cause the Laws of Salt. At one point, in the fourth book, she even plays a harp, to try and draw the sisters to her, and they can hear the harp in the room with them (in Maine) vibrating.
Then theres the issue with choosing between living as a mer or a human. As told to us by the previously-mer-now-human Stannish Whitman Wheeler, once a mer reaches adulthood-ish, he or she must choose between the land and the sea. This seems like the sort of thing that was initially supposed to be a hard decision, to create tension, but as the plot progressed became less and less of a big deal. By the end, it was like, why even have that exist in the first place? As told, Stannish was a mer, who chose to live on land as a human in order to pursue his painting career. All well and good, except why? Its told us that all a mer really has to do to keep the mer lifestyle is to swim every so often; preferably once a day, but it can be less. Stannish always makes it a point to live in cities close to either a river that feeds directly into the ocean or the ocean itself; why is it such a big deal to just slip out and go for a quick dip every other night or so? Its not his age; the aunt can easily transition between forms, and shes far older than he is.
Speaking of Stannish ... what happened to his character? In the first few books, he was always somewhat sweet, and very attentive to Hannah. Then, in the fourth book, (SPOILERS!) all of a sudden hes this total control freak? He has her cut and dye her hair, despite the fact that her hair was one of the things that initially drew him to her in the first place. He even has her change her name. None of this feels consistent with the character we had come to know in the past books. I feel like Ms. Lasky suddenly realized that she needed another antagonist, and so decided to completely change his personality to suit. (END SPOILERS)
Nor did the book end very concisely. The last book ended with Lucy charged with murder; this book begins with her being found guilty, and sentenced to death via hanging. (SPOILERS!) Almost the entire book deals with them trying to get the sentence overturned, but most of the details happen off-screen. A character mentions that theyve appealed; then, a few chapters later, all of a sudden its mentioned that the appeal was overturned. Finally, they succeed by ... just busting her out, via some guy who was never even mentioned before this book. Lucy escapes, May helps her swim, theyre joined later by Hannah, and all three swim to Scotland to meet up with Auntie Ariel. Its sort of implied that all three have chosen the sea, just like its sort of implied that Hugh and Phineas (May and Lucys boyfriends, respectively) will follow them there, where its implied theyll live happily ever after. Theres no reunion scene with the aunt, theres no reunion with the guys, theres not even a scene where they reach Scotland or Phineas finishes the boat. All we get at the very, very end is a newspaper clipping telling us that Stannish has died (with a sort of serves-him-right flourish), and the characters shrugging over whether his death was foul play or suicide. (END SPOILERS)
It seems that Ms. Lasky might be setting this book up for a fifth book in the series, but I wont be sticking around long enough to know. This last book was a long time coming, and when it did it felt very rushed; almost like Ms. Lasky had lost interest halfway through and was just going through the motions. The end result was a somewhat-nonsensical mess, and I dont want to see what she does with a fifth book.
Loose-Leaf for Human Sexuality: Diversity in Contemporary America / Edition 9
Connect C. My Bookshelf C. Forgot your password? Don't have an account? Create an account now. Human Sexuality: Diversity in Contemporary America takes a sex-positive approach, encouraging students to become proactive about their own sexual wellbeing.
Celebrating sexual diversity in contemporary America. Human Sexuality: Diversity in Contemporary America takes a sex-positive approach, encouraging students to become proactive about their own sexual wellbeing. The new edition of SmartBook, a personalized learning program offering students the insight they need to study smarter and improve classroom results. William L. Yarber is professor of applied health science and professor of gender studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in human sexuality.
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