Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Swim To Me by Betsy Carter

Betsy Carter tells a wonderful tale that starts with the line "She was two years old when her mother dropped her into the shallow end of the lake..." and from that beginning we enjoy a new "ugly duckling" story.

Delores is a 17-year-old girl from the Bronx, who is not the prettiest, nor is she the most popular however she is an excellent swimmer. The water is where she feels most comfortable. As her family falls apart (her dad takes off, her mother takes two jobs to make ends-meet) Delores takes a job at Weeki Wachee Springs in Tampa, Fla. as a mermaid.

Delores bloom in a different environment and we see her grow through the experience. How she reacts to those around her, never loosing her sweetness is a wonderful quality that is given to this character. Thelma, the manager of the Weeki Wachee is always looking out for Delores but we never really get to experience Thelma as much as I would have liked. There was always a hint at an extension to some of the other characters but it was never followed through leaving you only with the story of Delores and her family which is a thread that is stitched through the whole story and never once unravels.

I find that most people could relate to Delores and her family on some level, most of us deep down are a little lost and just want to fit in. Whether it be in our own families or the environment that we are functioning in. I think that Ms. Carter shows us that really we all do fit in and after going through scrapes and bruises we find out who we are and where we fit in best and that it all can work.

I definitely enjoyed escaping to the sights of Florida when we were dealing with snow and cold temperatures here. Made me long to go and sit on the beach with the beautiful water and sunshine.

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