Sea is one of those novels that surprised me–in a very, very good way. The cover leads one to think that it’s mostly about the romance aspect, but it’s not. This beautiful story deals with love, loss, disaster, grief, and healing. Heidi R. Kling’s debut novel is beautiful and impressive.
Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.
She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.
And Sea’s real adventure begins.
First of all, the writing is simply excellent. Ms. Kling certainly has a talent for creating amazing characters and for fleshing out a story to make it real and alive. Of course, my favorite characters are Sea and Deni, who make a great couple, despite their differences. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how Sea grew as a person thanks to Deni and the events surrounding the tsunami. She overcame her fears and in the end, was a totally different person than in the beginning. Sea is a wonderful narrator and I found myself laughing and crying along with her. Sea isn’t the only character who grows and changes, however. Almost every character has their own personal struggles to overcome, which makes them extremely well-rounded and helps take the story to the next level.
I can only think of one thing that I didn’t like about the novel and that was the character of Spider. I wish we had seen more of him and learned more about his friendship with Sea. He is the only character I felt fell a little flat.
The thing about Sea is that it is truly a beautiful and powerful novel. I love the backstory of how Ms. Kling started writing it and the novel ended up improving my perspective of the world. I know bad things happen, that disaster strikes more than once and does so personally and globally, but Sea helped me become more aware of the world and everything that’s going on.
Sea is an emotional, but enlightening story that needs to be read by EVERYONE. It will resonate with those who have either lost a loved one or experienced a natural disaster. But even those who haven’t will still find Sea amazingly splendid and it’ll hopefully open people’s eyes to the disasters the world is facing. Not only will readers fall in love with the characters and story, they will also end up learning a lot.
If you would like to read the story behind Sea, please visit:
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(cover image from Barnes and Nobles’ website)