The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

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Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits.

This is the first meeting between the hobbits and Aragorn: at a first glance we can’t know what is to be expected from him, maybe some danger.
Soon enough we will learn how much a positive companion he is to the fellowship, and how much is true that “All that is gold does not glitter”.

Sometimes the reverse may happen, an example is this novel, “The Deep End of the Sea“, that begins as an innocuous young adult until it shows its true face, the one of a harmony – a kind of novel I normally try to avoid.

Hence this comment will follow the moments when “The Deep End of the Sea” show me its true – not so good – nature.

The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

The beginning is nice: the story is about the myth of Medusa – recently recalling Roman and Greek myths is in fashion, see Red Rising and Cruel Beauty – showing her as a kind creature able to show pity and  regret for her petrified victims.
She has only two friends: an old greek fisherman and Hermes, the gods messenger.
And until here it works, we are showed a modern version of the greek pantheon and Medusa’s point of view is interesting and it’s quite easy to see her points and to like her character.

Hermes is able to make the curse be reversed by Athena – the one who cursed the girl in being the monster with sneaks as hairs – and to point out the fault of Poseidon in that event; consequently Medusa is turned back into being a normal girl and she lives with Hades and Persephone during her rehab.
And it’s now the exact moment when everything fails, but I was still unaware of it.
The silly girl is unable to understand that Hermes loves her and that she loves him back – both facts clear to the reader (how could not I understand the harmony fundamentals):

“The reason I’m not married is that you are my best friend.”

The back of my hand is on fire—aching, lovely, torturous fire. It spreads out until every last bit of me is consumed, which is so unfair, because here he is, telling me he is in love with somebody who apparently won’t marry him because he was foolish enough to become friends with me.

Medusa by Caravaggio

Clearly her intellect was removed together with her curse.
Once solved the love misunderstanding here we have the most hideous thing a harmony can offer: a hot scene that follows the harmony rules:

 

His hot breath hits my mouth; his racing heart beats against mine. And then slowly, gently, the tip of his need presses into me. I gasp; not in pain, not like the first time so very long ago, but because spikes of ecstasy threaten to tear me apart again.

[…] He cuts me off with another kiss, his fingers making contact with my pleasure point, and all of my argument goes flying out the windows. I gasp, arching into him, lost to anything but he newly swelling ecstasy his fingers bring about. His mouth lowers to close around my breast; I moan, bucking as he sucks greedily. I twist strands of his hair around my fingers, reveling in how I can feel his length harden in me.

And at this point I’m both laughing and pissed, since this is a sly cheap shot, a wolf masked as a lamb.

Now I finally see all the hints that prove this to be a harmony: she, beautiful and young, he, beautiful and sculpted and in wanting to help her, hideous love scene (that does not make sense, since she is pointed out as a rape victim) and the awful, sugary ending.

Ending I prefer not to disclose to avoid major spoilers, it only is needed to know that to the love story factor adds up the soap opera one: plots, affairs, deceits, envy, kidnapped children and uncovered identities with a quick final explanation.
And once ended the mystery stays: what is the title supposed to mean? Because it’s not connected to the plot. At all.

This teaches me that following unknown people review to choose a novel is sometimes a very bad idea.

_______

* The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons ★☆☆☆☆½

*I read this book in English

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