Water, water, everywhere ... Two desperately damaged people: the narrator, a young girl whose father disappeared when she was a child and Jude, a veteran of the Iraq war, older than her but whom she loves. They share an affinity with the sea and its capacity to wash away despair. She thinks she is a mermaid after a passing comment from her father. Jude has post traumatic shock syndrome and sees her as forbidden fruit. They finally succumb to love with tragic consequences for both. This is a fantasy the reader lives through as if from inside the young girl's head. Sad but strangely lyrical.
Then I tell her, 'Last night I was in the bath and I tried to speak to Dad. I told him "Jude is stone". '
'Your father’s dead,' she says and bites her lip. Then asks, 'What’d he say?'
'He said, "If Jude is a stone then he should sink like one." So I let the water out of the tub.' I turn toward her. 'I don’t want to be the mermaid who kills Jude, Mom.'
'Oh,' she says in a voice that sounds like the voice of a mother whose daughter just broke something, a piece of china or crystal and she is trying not to get mad about it. But in this instance the thing that my mother believes is broken is me.