Book Review: When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal

I was immediately drawn in by the title of this one: When We Believed in Mermaids. Then I heard the first line, and I was hooked! As a writer we’re always told you have to grab people right off the bat, and this opening certainly does it:

My sister has been dead for nearly fifteen years when I see her on the TV news.

Seriously, who can put a book down after that first line? And I’m here to tell you…the payoff is there. You know how sometimes you read a book and it starts out strong only to fall flat? I promise this isn’t one of those books!

Kit Bianci’s sister Josie was killed on a train during a terrorist attack 15 years earlier when she swears she spots her on the news during coverage of a nightclub fire in Auckland. Both she and her mother are so convinced the woman looks like Josie that Kit decides to travel to New Zealand to try and find the woman. But, of course, there’s more to the story than Kit imagines.

I listened to the audiobook, and I flew threw it in just a few days. I had to know if it was really her sister she saw, and why did she think her sister might still be alive anyway? And if she was, why had she hidden from her family?

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And…the circumstances around the sister’s being presumed dead aren’t the only mystery in this one. There are family secrets hiding around every corner — like in a psychological thriller, but in more of a real-life family drama sort of way.

It’s beautifully written at a nice pace with enough mystery to keep you tearing through it as fast as you can. I definitely recommend this one from Barbara O’Neal!

Looking for more reading recommendations? Check out my other book reviews!


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