Book Review: Seven Tears Into the Sea by Terri Farley
August 03, 2011
“Beckon the sea, I’ll come to thee…Shed seven tears, perchance seven years,” are the captivating words spoken by the strange boy on the beach to Gwen Cooke in the beginning of Terri Farley’s novel Seven Tears into the Sea. Immediately, her book managed to do to me what I think every novel should be able to do to its readers: spark the imagination. Her novel set my imagination running, compelling me to continue reading to see where it might go.
Farley tells the story of Gwen who encounters a strange boy in questionable circumstances when she is ten-years-old, only to be whisked away to a new city by her worried parents. Seven years later, Gwen returns, now a teenager, to help her grandmother run her inn and to finally figure out who that boy was and what her destiny is. It’s a simple, easy to read novel, definitely most suited for women. The novel was filled with many, as I like to call them, "squee" moments that invoke such a sound from the reader at ridiculously cute scenes. And the novel, being more cute than sexy or passionate, makes this a romance novel appropriate for a wider age range than others. What I particularly enjoyed about the novel was that it was a good interpretation of an ancient myth into a piece of modern fiction.
The novel does have its downsides, the following two perhaps stemming from the fact that Farley is primarily an author of children’s books, not adult books. I found the characters too one-dimensional with Gwen as the completely in-denial and innocent heroine, Jesse as the completely perfect and mysterious love interest, Nana as the wise old sage, Zach as the total bad boy, Mandi as the brainless airhead, and Jill as the got-it-all-together girl. Having no depth to the characters, no surprises in their behaviors and actions, frequently leads to a boring cast. Still, the shallowness of the characters doesn’t stop you from caring about them. Another snag I ran into was near the end of the book where suddenly the details of the myth became a little fuzzy, and the bittersweet ending was lost a little for me because I could not understand the reasoning behind the destiny for Gwen and Jesse.
Overall, I believe Farley succeeded in producing a pretty good novel. Very sweet, it’s successful at bringing the reader to the "I really wish something like this would happen to me" thought. For those who thrive on complex characters and a challenging read, this is not the right book, but I would recommend it to anyone looking for something casual and relaxing to fill their day with.