Title: Two If By Sea
Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard
First published March 15, 2016
448 pages, Kindle Edition
In “Two If By Sea,” Jacquelyn Mitchard tells the captivating story of Frank Mercy, an American expat who loses his wife and her family in a devastating tsunami. In the midst of the tragedy, Frank saves a little boy’s life and feels an unexplainable connection to him.
Frank takes the boy, Ian, back to his childhood farm in the Midwest and begins to suspect that Ian has an extraordinary telepathic gift. As Frank tries to protect Ian from those who want to exploit his gift, he meets Claudia, a woman who understands his struggles and fears.
However, it becomes clear that they can never let Ian go, no matter what the cost. This suspenseful novel takes readers on a journey from Australia to America to England, exploring the best and worst in people and the possibility of magic in ordinary life.
About the Author
Jacquelyn Mitchard is an author who has achieved great success with her writing. Her debut novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was recognized by USA Today as one of the most influential books of the past 25 years, second only to the Harry Potter series.
This novel was also chosen as the first book in Oprah Winfrey’s famous book club and was adapted into a feature film starring Michelle Pfeiffer.
Mitchard has written several other novels, including The Most Wanted, A Theory of Relativity, Twelve Times Blessed, The Breakdown Lane, and Cage of Stars. Critics have praised her writing for its authenticity and skillful storytelling, while readers identify with her characters and their emotions.
In addition to her adult novels, Mitchard has also written four novels for young adults. She recently released Still Summer, a story of adventure, and the paperback version of Cage of Stars.
Her upcoming novel, All We Know of Heaven, will tell the story of two best friends whose town is divided by a tragic accident.
Mitchard is also a contributing editor for Wondertime, a Disney parenting magazine, and writes for other publications such as More, Parade, and Real Simple. She has a syndicated column that appears in newspapers nationwide.
Outside of writing, Mitchard is a proud mother of seven children, the wife of Chris Brent, and the owner of a beloved dog named Hobbes. She splits her time between her home in Wisconsin and a villa on the Amalfi Coast.
Her favorite color is periwinkle blue, her favorite holiday is Halloween, and her favorite flower is freesia. She also has a lucky number, 119, and her favorite place on earth is Cape Cod.
Mitchard has a few pet peeves, including when people misuse the words “lie” and “lay,” and when family signs are pluralized with apostrophes. She also hopes to one day make an appearance on an episode of Law and Order, but only if she can play the role of a murder victim that is not found in a landfill.
Two If By Sea by Jacquelyn Mitchard is a riveting novel that skillfully blends elements of life’s complexities with imagination. The author’s strong reputation as a writer precedes her, having published bestselling books such as The Deep End of the Ocean, and this book is another addition to her impressive list of works.
The story opens with its main character, Frank Mercy, a seasoned paramedic who has suffered a great loss and is looking for a new beginning. As fate would have it, Frank discovers a young boy washing up ashore in the aftermath of a tornado that has hit the Maine coast.
The boy is the sole survivor of a terrible tragedy and Frank takes him under his care. The plot then unfolds as Frank and the boy, whose magical powers and special gifts gradually come to light, embark on a journey to escape from the boy’s past.
The novel explores interesting themes such as redemption, love, forgiveness, courage, and the supernatural. It is set in different locations including Maine, Ireland, and New York City, each locale adding depth and richness to the story.
Jacquelyn Mitchard’s descriptive prose transports the reader vividly to each setting, capturing the essence of the place and the characters in it. The character development in Two If By Sea is impressive.
Frank Mercy is a complex character who is haunted by his past yet determined to protect the young boy in his care. Similarly, the boy is presented as a child who is wise beyond his years, whose experiences have shaped him in a unique way.
The secondary characters are also well-rounded and add depth to the story. However, the pacing of the book could be improved.
At times, certain scenes felt overly drawn out, detracting from the pace of the story. Similarly, the supernatural themes could have been explored in more depth, adding a layer of suspense to the story that would have enhanced its impact.
Overall, Two If By Sea is a gripping novel that is crafted with skill and care. It is an engaging and thought-provoking read that is sure to captivate readers who enjoy well-written stories.
The book’s themes are timely and relevant, exploring what it means to be human in a world that is fraught with challenges. While the story has its flaws, the strengths far outweigh them.
I recommend Two If By Sea to readers who are interested in beautifully written novels with captivating settings and engaging characters. This is a book that will undoubtedly leave readers feeling inspired and entertained.
On a scale of 1-10, I rate Two If By Sea a solid 8, for its insightful themes, strong character development, and its ability to transport readers to different locations.