The Mermaids of Lake Michigan

Suzanne Kamata. Wyatt-MacKenzie, $13.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-942545-59-0
In this intricately woven coming-of-age tale, Kamata (Losing Kei) explores destiny and regret. In the small town of Grand Haven on the shores of Lake Michigan, 17-year-old Elise Faulkner is chafing at the expectations of her former beauty queen mother when she becomes friends with the rebellious Chiara Hanover. Soon, Elise’s world revolves around Chiara and Miguel, a wandering carnival operator and musician who claims that he is Elise’s destined partner. Mixed in with Elise’s discoveries of what she wants out of life are her memories of childhood, and parallels between Elise and her mother slowly start to appear. Kamata attempts to add a deeper layer to the family similarities with tantalizing glimpses of a scandalous shipwreck-diving great-grandmother and references to Elise’s sister, Amanda, but Elise’s attempts to find her own path in opposition to her mother is what primarily drives events forward. A hint of magic, the mermaids of the title, and the annual Coast Guard festival make the final connections between Elise’s choices and her history. Agent: Carrie Pestritto, Prospect Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2016
Release date: 02/14/2017
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