Sea Foam and Silence by Lynn E. O’Connacht is one of the books I read for pride month! It has asexual and aromantic characters.
Be careful what you wish for…
She warned of the pain. She did.
But no warning can prepare you.
How could I have known
What it is like on the dry sand?
We just watched.
It’s hard, not being able to ask
Questions, though I have learned some speech
With my hands. ˆ_ˆ
I miss my sisters.
I have made friends here.
I have laughed with them,
Learned with them, played with them.
I love them.
She said I would die if he loves someone else.
Will I die? At the beginning I wanted to. It hurts
So much. Life isn’t easy, will never be easy, but…
I don’t want to become sea foam.
Sea Foam and Silence is an updated version of The Little Mermaid (*cue singing here*). This is a much harsher world than the Disney one, though – the mermaids capture and eat humans. The sea is not necessarily the mermaids’ friend, and there is the constant threat of starvation. Like the original story, the mermaid must find love in order to remain as a human – what differs in this version is that love is not just romantic, but also friendship. This was a fantastic way to interrogate what people think love is, and I found my heart warmed by the clear importance of platonic love in the book.
As you can tell, this is a verse novel. I honestly wasn’t sure how I would find it – I’m fairly sure I’ve read prose novels before, but none that really spoke to me. I thought that the prose worked, because it really allowed the novel to flow and dance as our mermaid does. It also allowed her strange terminologies for things to make more sense – for example, she calls humans ‘tall-crabs’ and ships ‘moving land’. In a more straightforward way of writing this wouldn’t have worked, I don’t think. However, I didn’t love the verse, myself. This is completely a personal preference, but a more sophisticated style would have appealed to me more.
I’m very happy that this was my first introduction to asexual and aromantic characters – the message was lovely, and the fairytale setting absolutely worked.