At Sea

S. & S. Audio. Mar. 2023. 10:19 hrs. ISBN 9781797143651. $23.99. F
Fresh out of college and still reeling from her mother’s death, Emma spends the summer on Martha’s Vineyard. While there, she meets the enigmatic Brendan on a nude beach. Emma is immediately entranced by Brendan’s personality, humor, and charm. When he shares that he can breathe underwater, thanks to military experiments, Emma believes him. After all, she’s seen the gills. Soon the romance becomes more serious, and Emma and Brendan have a baby, Micah. When Brendan and Micah disappear, Emma is bereft. Five years later, Brendan resurfaces, and Emma must face the truth about the man she loved. Fedor’s debut novel is an odd and confusing listen. The story has many layers and pieces that do not fit, requiring listeners to suspend disbelief. Even so, narrator Carlotta Brentan does a wonderful job as the heartbroken and somewhat naive Emma as she navigates her first love with a man she barely knows. Brentan perfectly captures the accent of someone from the Northeast, balancing the brash, self-assured Brendan with Emma and her lack of drive.
VERDICT Part romance, part fantasy, this is an enjoyable, if occasionally perplexing listen. Suggest to those who appreciate emotional depth but don’t insist on tight logic.
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