Friday, December 14, 2007

Review: Swim to Me

Swim to Me by Betsy Carter
4 stars

Summary: Ever since she visited Weeki Wachee Springs with her (now separated) parents, Delores Walker has wanted to be a mermaid there. At 16, she boards a Greyhound bus bound for Florida, leaving the Bronx behind. The roadside attraction is in danger of closing with the opening of Disneyland not far away. But when Delores joins a group of other aquatic hopefuls in this City of Live Mermaids, she reinvents herself Delores Taurus, Florida's most unlikely celebrity and heroine. Along the way, her family gets a chance to start over in the Sunshine State, with the help of the mermaids and a circus (particularly the elephants).

My thoughts: I was so excited to read this book - like Delores, I was enchanted by Weeki Wachee and spent at least a year around age 10 pretending to be a mermaid in any watery area I could find, particularly the bathtub. When my friend Vidalia recommended it to me, I had a flash of them swimming in the tank at the park - I could still even hear the mermaids' theme song!

This is a great book - the mermaidization of Dolores and her love for her little brother are lovely to read about and the stories of her parents' development since their parting fleshes the book out. It's just fun - the Florida setting, the mermaids, the circus.... I just really enjoyed it.

Apparently Weeki Wachee is still in trouble - they seem to have been in danger of going under since the 70's, when this book is set. Read about the park at I hope it doesn't close, I want to visit again, hopefully with my own kids some day!

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