When We Believed In Mermaids


Barbara O'Neal

I have been discovering a lot of new (to me) authors lately, one of whom is Barbara O’Neal author of a book titled: When We Believed In Mermaids.  The book is a mystery that includes many characters and moves back and forth in time.  The two narrators are Kit Bianci and Mari Edwards.  As the story opens, we learn that Kit, an ER doctor in California, believes she sees her dead sister Josie on television during a news story about a fire at a nightclub in New Zealand.

Kit’s mother sees the tv segment as well and encourages Kit to travel to New Zealand to locate her sister.  As the story unfolds, we learn about the two girls, their parents and a boy named Dylan who becomes a part of the family.  The story describes the same event from different points of view which helps bring depth and real-life credibility to the story.  We gain an understanding as to why Josie (now known as Mari) faked her death and what the reveal cost her in terms of her relationship with her husband and children.

The story was well written and compelling enough for me to stick with it to learn what happened in their childhood that shaped these sisters.  The only part of the story that did not make sense to me was the introduction of a murder that occurred 80 years prior at a house that Mari’s husband recently purchased.  The house itself is a symbol of the house in which Mari and Kit grew up; however, introducing the murder of a former Hollywood star did not add value to the overarching plot.

Overall, I like O’Neal’s work and would read some of her other work.