It’s been a while since a book made me emotional.
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 15, 2016)
Just hours after his wife and her entire family perish in the Christmas Eve tsunami in Brisbane, American expat and former police officer Frank Mercy goes out to join his volunteer rescue unit and pulls a little boy from a submerged car, saving the child’s life with only seconds to spare. In that moment, Frank’s own life is transformed. Not quite knowing why, Frank sidesteps the law, when, instead of turning Ian over to the Red Cross, he takes the boy home to the Midwestern farm where he grew up. Not long into their journey, Frank begins to believe that Ian has an extraordinary, impossible telepathic gift; but his only wish is to protect the deeply frightened child. As Frank struggles to start over, training horses as his father and grandfather did before him, he meets Claudia, a champion equestrian and someone with whom he can share his life—and his fears for Ian. Both of them know that it will be impossible to keep Ian’s gift a secret forever. Already, ominous coincidences have put Frank’s police instincts on high alert, as strangers trespass the quiet life at the family farm.
The fight to keep Ian safe from a sinister group who want him back takes readers from the ravaged shores of Brisbane to the middle of America to a quaint English village. Even as Frank and Claudia dare to hope for new love, it becomes clear that they can never let Ian go, no matter what the cost. A suspenseful novel on a grand scale, Two If by Sea is about the best and worst in people, and the possibility of heroism and even magic in ordinary life.
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Tawney’s Review: I was swept away with Two If By Sea on the first page. The opening was powerful. It’s Christmas in Brisbane, Australia, and Frank’s family is asleep. His wife is expecting their first child. While away, Frank witnessed a monster wave heading toward their hotel. This horrific event took our main protagonist’s family and changed his life forever. A tsunami towers over the city, words from Mitchard that bring vivid description of the killer monster. After the wave’s destruction, Frank could only thrust himself into volunteering and saving others. He tried to save a little boy from a sinking minivan but the boy pushed his younger brother out instead, saying he is important. When Frank takes the small boy and reached back to pull the boy out it’s too late, the van was swept away.
And here is where the story become magical. Frank decided to keep the boy and adopts him illegally. The little boy Frank saves has special powers. Ian can calm anyone out of control with emotions and make them do what he wants them to do. This could be a bad thing, it’s what makes some evil unknown people stalk the boy, but the boy does good with it. Calming horses and fights that could have ended with someone dead. There seems to be elements of supernatural in the book, which made it so much more enticing.
The story is engaging and Mitchard’s writing wonderful. Almost poetic. Each description brought me into Frank’s world and I just hung on to every word. I couldn’t put it down. The characters come to life with wonderful dialogue and their interactions with each other were realistic. Frank holds on to Ian because of his grief, that little boy is his anchor to the world. I grieved with Frank for his family but I loved the slow process he comes to moving on and finding love again with a new family.
Should you read it? YES! This book was thrilling with elements of magic and mystery with a heartwarming story at the core. I couldn’t put it down. If you want a feel good book that gives you all the emotions, Two If By Sea is that book.
Thank you Simon and Schuster for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.