Book Reviews

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in Book Reviews, British Columbia | 0 comments

SeraphinaSummary: In a world where dragons are real and an uneasy truce exists between them and humans, Seraphina is a young woman with a secret. The offspring of a human and a dragon, Seraphina is a musical prodigy whose situation allows her considerable insight into both worlds. But a half human/half dragon isn’t even supposed to be possible, and there is such stigma over the idea of humans and dragons mating that Seraphina must not tell anyone about the dragon scales on her body or the mysterious psychic connection she has with others like her. As the anniversary of the dragon/human treaty approaches, there are many barriers from both species that stand in the way. When a rogue dragon has infiltrated the court putting everyone in danger, Seraphina is in a unique position to figure out what is going on and to do something about it. Fortunately, she also has a lot of people to love and support her.

Number of Pages: 512

Age Range: 13-15

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is a richly detailed fantasy story that on the surface is about dragons and humans trying to co-exist peacefully, but has many layers of plot and character development underneath.

It’s hard to read a book that’s over 500 pages in a day and provide an well-rounded review, but here it goes.

Hartman pours the history of dragon/human relations into her story, focusing on the fortieth anniversary of a treaty signed between the two species, but she also explores how difficult it was to achieve the peace and the various ways people and dragons are trying to pull that peace apart.

Though dragons are logic creatures, emotionless and have the ability to take human shape (somewhat like Vulcan except able to breathe fire), not all are interested in letting bygones be bygones and giving up their glory days. There are still those who would like to hoard gold over knowledge and who aren’t interested in consorting with humans.

But it goes both ways. When dragons are in human form they are generally tolerated and accepted, but appearance in dragon form is not permitted except for one day a year. Humans are fear-mongering and with some reason as the treaty has effectively wiped out their defences against dragons with the banishment of the knights and other complicated plots are in progress to weaken the humans even further.

I love how Hartman allows her reader to see both sides of the story. While being specific, the tension between humans and dragons also speaks to accommodating anyone we feel is different from us and finding empathy for them as well.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the Saints in Hartman’s next book, especially Seraphina’s true saint who was proclaimed to be a heretic. The religion of the humans is intricate but has its’ faults, and I can’t wait to read how the church is going to handle the existence of several half human/half dragons.

But the best part of the book is Seraphina herself. She may be a character plagued by dragon scales and an imposition on her mind that takes time to reveal its true nature, but she is fearless. Seraphina knows so much about the dragon and human worlds from her studies and her heritage that being able to unravel the plots behind ending the treaty is something Seraphina is uniquely qualified to do. And through it all she comes to terms with her body and abilities, while also finding love and acceptance after years of isolation. Definitely a heroine I want to keep reading about.

Overall, it’s well-developed tale with action and adventure that serves as an excellent, solid start to the Seraphina series.

Memorable Quotes:

“I remember being born.


In fact, I remember a time before that. There was no light, but there was music: joints creaking, blood rushing, the heart’s staccato lullaby, a rich symphony of indigestion. Sound enfolded me, and I was safe.


Then my world spilt open, and I was thrust into a cold and silent brightness. I tried to fill the emptiness with my screams, but the space was too vast. I raged, but there was no going back.” – Seraphina from Serephina by Rachel Hartman, Prologue

“Not that St. Capiti – may she keep me in her heart – made a poor substitute saint. She was shockingly apropos, in fact. St. Capiti carried her own head on a plate like a roast goose; it glared out from the page, daring me to judge her. She represented the life of the mind, utterly divorced from the sordid goings-on of the body.” – Seraphina from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Prologue

“‘There are unseen forces that act upon all of us, all the time, and they act in predictable ways. If I were to drop you from this tower’ – here she shook me, and the city spun, a vortex ready to swallow me up – ‘your falling form would accelerate at a rate of thirty-two feet per second squared. So would my hat; so did your shoes. We are all pulled toward our doom in exactly the same way, by exactly the same way, by exactly the same force.’


She meant gravity – dragons aren’t good at metaphor – but her words resonated with me more personally. Invisible factors in my life would inevitably lead to my downfall. I felt I had known this all along. There was no escape.” – Seraphina reflecting on a vivid lesson on gravity from Zeyd from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Chapter Three

“He continued: ‘In this particular case, I think there was more to it than that. You honestly answered by question.’ He sat back smugly, as if he’d solved a difficult riddle. ‘I asked what it’s like to be so talented, and you gave me a straightforward comparison: like being a bastard! And with a little extra though, I get it. Everyone gawps at you for something you can’t help and did nothing to deserve. Your very presence makes other people feel awkward. You stand out when in fact you’d rather not.'” – Kiggs from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Chapter Thirteen

“‘One night I saw a hoard, gleaming like the sun. I stepped up to it, to run my fingers through it, but it wasn’t gold, it was knowledge! And I realized a wondrous truth: that knowledge could be our treasure, that there were things humankind knew that we did not, that our conquest need not comprise taking and killing, but could consist of our mutual conquest of ignorance and distrust.'” – Comonot from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Chapter Fifteen

“With shaking hands I opened the wooden case. Inside, wrapped in a long strip of saffron fabric, was a flute of polished ebony, inlaid with silver and mother-of-pearl. It took my breath away; I knew it at once for hers.


I put it to my lips and played a scale, smooth as water. Both my wrists twinged painfully as my fingers moved. I took the saffron strip and wound it around my scabby left wrist. It came from both my parents. Let it remind me I was not along, and protect me from myself.


I rose renewed, and headed for the door. There was work yet to be done, and I was the only one who could do it.” – Seraphina from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Chapter Twenty-Nine

“A thousand regrets I’ve had in love,

A thousand times I’ve longed to change the past.

I know, my love, there is no going back,

No undoing of our thousand burdens.

We must go on despite our heavy hearts.

A thousand regrets I’ve had in love,

But I shall never regret you.” – Song written by Seraphina’s father from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Chapter Thirty-One

“Papa extricated himself, bowed, and set off down the hall. For a fleeting instant, in the sad curve of his shoulders, I saw what Comonot could not: the core of decency; the weight he had carried so long; the endless struggle to do right in the wake of this irreversible wrong; the grieving husband and frightened father; the author of all those love songs. For the first time, I understood.” – Seraphina observing her father from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Chapter Thirty-Six

“His eyes fluttered shut, and he was quiet so long I thought he had fallen asleep, but then he said, in a voice so soft I could barely hear: ‘Love is not a disease.’



‘I’m not completely certain she was right,’ he murmured. ‘But I cannot let them cut you out of me, nor her either. I will cling to my sickness … if it is a sickness … I will hold it close to me like the … the sun, and the …’ – Orma talking to Seraphina before succumbing to a drugged sleep from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Chapter Thirty-Six

“If I could keep a single moment for all time, that would be the one.


I became the very air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence, and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand in my hair and his round soft perfect mouth.” – Seraphina describing a kiss in Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Chapter Thirty-Seven

“Once I feared that telling thr truth would be like falling, that love would be like hitting the ground, but here I was, my feet firmly planted, standing on my own.


We were all monsters and bastards, and we were all beautiful.” – Seraphina from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Chapter Thirty-Seven

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is published by Doubleday Canada, (2012).

The Bone Collector’s Son by Paul Yee

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Book Reviews, British Columbia | 0 comments

The Bone Collector's SonSummary: Forced to accompany his father on one of his bone collecting assignments, Bing is fearful of the ghosts that may haunt them while his Ba is skeptical they exist. When the body they dig up doesn’t have a skull though and Ba’s health begins to deteriorate, Bing knows the bones are haunting them. Determined to help his father out since he is unable to work and to get away from collecting bones himself, Bing takes a job as a houseboy in a wealthy Vancouver household. Living in 1907 Bing faces the mounting prejudice against Asian people, but his cultural knowledge of ghosts and the spirit world help him appease the ghost haunting the place where he works. Bing learns to conquer his fear of the dead as he realises helping them rest simply requires some understanding and creative thinking.

Number of Pages: 175

Age Range: 12-14

Review: Separated from his mother and grandmother in China and moved to Canada with his father, Bing is a fifteen year-old boy who is homesick. Added to that his father’s job of collecting the bones of the Chinese workers who died in Canada to send back to China so they can rest with their families and their ancestors. While it is honourable work, the fear of dealing with the dead causes bone collecting to be seen as a dirty job and looked down upon in Chinese society. While Ba, Bing’s father, doesn’t seem to mind the stigma attached to his work, Bing does because it affects him too.

I grew to enjoy Bing as a character because while he starts out deathly afraid of ghosts he faces his fears out of necessity and grows to aid the dead in a different but equally important way. He uses the cultural beliefs of his community to help the family he works for soothe their ghost, and with the help of the local Fortuneteller figures out how to make his father better too by exposing the violent death of the bones they collected and reuniting the skull with the rest of the body.

The Bone Collector’s Son by Paul Yee also explores the prejudices facing the Asian community in early 1900s Vancouver, British Columbia. I didn’t know about the riot that happened in 1907, but Yee’s writing always enlightens me about the Asian experience in Canada.

It took me a while to get into Bing’s story, to accept the world of riled, sometimes vengeful spirits and ghosts who can make people sick with their haunting. Once I did though, I had to know if Bing was going to be successful in his endeavours. I was rooting for him, and I was not disappointed.

Memorable Quote:

“Bing hurried over to the Fortuneteller’s room in the Kwong Yuen store. His door was slightly agar, so Bing pushed it open and walked in. The room reeked of incense. The afternoon light revealed a map of the world on the map. Bing drew his finger down the Pacific Northwest and across the expanse of blue to China. He felt trapped, as if the lines of longitude and latitude formed a wall between him and freedom.” – Bing from The Bone Collector’s Son by Paul Yee, pages 119-120

The Bone Collector’s Son by Paul Yee is published by Tradewind Books, (2003).

Breathless by Pam Withers

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Book Reviews, British Columbia | 0 comments

BreathlessSummary: Staying with her Uncle Tom  for Christmas break to help him with his dive shop, Beverley gets to do what she loves while hanging out in Kauai, Hawaii. Intending to take full advantage of her trip, Beverley decides the time she has in Hawaii is perfect for losing ten pounds and finding her first boyfriend. While she drastically cuts back on her food intake immediately, even before she starts losing the weight she meets Garth, a confident young divemaster who appears to be interested in her. Before Beverley knows it, she is breathless not only because of Garth’s persistent advances, but also due to her body’s malnourished state.

Number of Pages: 101

Age Range: 13-14

Review: Convinced her slightly pudgy state is the reason she has no boyfriend, Beverley takes drastic measures to lose the extra pounds. But as a diving guide, not eating deprives her body of the necessary energy she needs to do what she loves. Thankfully she has people that love her and who notice what Beverley is trying to do, pulling her back from the brink when lack of food makes her tired and weak.

With just 101 pages of story, I have to admit I was a bit confused when it came to Garth’s intentions. He’s a jerk who moves too fast and has trouble understanding the word no, but he’s not violent and he doesn’t try to hound Beverley when she’s under water, even when she mistakes his actions. I felt conflicted about whether I was supposed to like or dislike him, and while I was happy Beverley was going back to Winnipeg, I felt sorry for the other girls Garth would come in contact with in the future. Somehow, I don’t think leading guys only diving expeditions is going to stop him; he seems to be a predator and a charming one at that.

Author Pam Withers’ tale is brief, but it’s a fast-paced, reluctant read exploring one girl’s journey toward a greater sense of self-esteem and confidence in her abilities. By the end of the book, Beverley had become someone who was willing to stand up for herself and admit to her mistakes, and while I questioned why she was still willing to associate with Garth I felt some respect for her.

I had no memorable quotes.

Breathless by Pam Withers is published by Orca Book Publishers, (2005).

The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Book Reviews, British Columbia | 0 comments

The Knife Sharpener's BellSummary: Living in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the 1930s, Annette is the daughter of two Russian Jews eager to return home to Joseph Stalin’s communist Russia. Used to living in Canada, Annette is less than enthusiastic about being uprooted, but the hope and optimism Russia harbours for the future under their new regime is contagious. The start of World War II begins to reveal all is not what it seems though, and as Annette grows she is faced with reconciling the propaganda with the truth. Surviving the war is an achievement in itself as it comes at a very high personal cost for Annette, except the struggle isn’t over as Stalin’s regime proves itself to be harsh and anti-Semitic after all. About to lose another loved one due to charges of treason, Annette makes a drastic choice to hang on to what she has in anyway she can.

Number of Pages: 324

Age Range: 16-18

Review: As an adult Annette reflects back on her life and the choices she has made, she finds herself going back to the memories of her childhood up to her thirties.

Because The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov is a work of historical fiction, there are so many moments when it is clear the decisions made are the direct downfall in the lives of the characters. If Annette’s father hadn’t gone back to Russia to inquire about passports for his family, if Annette’s mother hadn’t been so determined to go back to Odessa and then so stubborn about staying, if Vladimir had never met Anatoly, everything would have been different. Lives would have been saved and paths changed, but as Annette knows from years of examining her choices, if she unravelled them even a little bit, her daughter would never have existed.

Still, Tregebov’s examination of these choices and the role they played is fascinating as she covers the role of decisions we have no control over in our lives and contrasts them with the decisions we make ourselves. Because she is looking back on her life, Annette is a wonderfully self-aware character who is able to consider all of these choices in her life. When her brother comes from Canada to offer Annette a choice after the death of her parents, I was still surprised by her decision even though it was my second time reading the book.

Like Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass, I also loved the historical aspect because I learned a great deal. Annette’s parents are so incredibly hopeful that Stalin’s Russia is one where Jews are considered equal and everyone is working together for the betterment of the people. It is heart-breaking to find out how wrong they are, but witnessing the situation from Annette’s point-of-view is an eye-opening experience. Annette herself is a creative thinker with a great deal of heart, and while I was shocked by her actions at times Tregelov does an excellent job of showing what motivates her.

Tregebov’s stylistic choice of having Annette considering her life from the viewpoint of old age makes her book accessible to both teen and adult audiences, but I like it for older teens as a well-written, contemplative read that would do well in a Canadian Literature class.

Memorable Quotes:

“That’s why the work of the memory is so perilous, why it hurts to do it. It gives you back what you had and with it what you’ve lost: my parents, my brother, Vladimir. I know them dead, now. Know them as I never knew them when they were alive, their lives complete, completed. Change is over; possibility’s over. It’s done. My father will never grow older; my mother will never soften. They never saw a grandchild, never knew my daughter or her son. What do I really know of them, with my child’s perspective, afraid of who they were, what they meant to me, what I mean because of them?” – Annette from The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov, page 14

“‘All change is loss.’ I read that in another poem once. Life changes us; we have no choice but to change. And sometimes we turn into a distorted version of what we could have been, what we were.” – Annette from The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov, page 20

“When the fireworks started, the sky was full of coloured bits of light, red and green and sparkly blue, some like flowers, some like pinwheels. And noises: pops like bubbles bursting for the little lights and a shaky boom for the bigger ones. Then a noise came that was so loud the ground shuddered and I shuddered with it and a big flower of light bloomed right on top of my head. It got bigger and bigger in the sky, came closer and closer till I felt the sky come down to touch, till I felt the light inside my chest, breathed in light till I was full with it.” – Annette from The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov, page 33

“Mr. Spratt smoothers the crease in his trousers, wipes his forehead again. ‘Sometimes I think we’re more afraid of what’s inside us than what’s outside us, Princess. Or maybe we’re afraid that what’s inside us isn’t strong enough to fight what’s outside us. Maybe that’s why we hear something inside us that scares us. But don’t be afraid of the knife sharpener. He’s just an old man trying to make a living like everybody else.” – Mr. Spratt reassuring Annette from The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov, page 40

“And the war. Hitler dreamt it. It’s all desire: cities and streets and governments and wars, anything built by people. Hitler wanted his ‘living space.’ Germany wasn’t enough for him. He willed a war. No, that’s not true either. It wasn’t Hitler alone: it wasn’t one man. Not Hitler and not Lenin and not Stalin. Someone wished them into being, dreamt along with them. Whole peoples, nations, believers who dreamt them into power. Awake and dreaming, they’d made it all.” – Annette from The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov, page 141

“Then, suddenly, I can’t look at them. I pull my hand away, walk out of the room, away from their helplessness, uselessness. Walk past Vladimir, out of the apartment, down the stairs, into the street. If I don’t stop, if I keep walking, if I can keep my mind at bay, I won’t have to think about Poppa, my mother, what these useless grown-ups have done to me.” – Annette from The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov, page 165

“I made the promise knowing I have no right to, that they may take Pavel, bundle him along with Polankov into a Black Raven paddy wagon, and that will be the end. My words do nothing. I can no more stop the men from taking Pavel than I could stop my father’s train, and where it took us all. Than I could keep my parents safe from whatever has taken them in Odessa. We’re specks spun along this current, we count for nothing.” – Annette from The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov, page 176

“‘Scared that we’re fooling ourselves.’ He reaches for the kaleidoscope, trains it briefly on my face, then sets it down. ‘I’m scared that we keep wanting to see this country the way it was meant to be, the way it could be, the way it used to be – and not how it is. It’s like kids telling themselves a story to keep from getting afraid. We tell ourselves one that makes us feel better, that lets us keep on hoping. But maybe that story is just a lie.'” – Vladimir from The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov, page 261

The Knife Sharpener’s Bell by Rhea Tregebov is published by Coteau Books, (2009).

The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Book Reviews, British Columbia | 0 comments

The Lynching of Louie SamSummary: When a local man is murdered and a Native named Louie Sam is suspected of the crime, the charged atmosphere of 1884 demands justice. Unhappy when the Canadian law enforcement seeks a trial for Louie Sam, a lynch mob calling themselves the Nooksack Vigilance Committee crosses the Canadian/United States border and strings him up to hang from a tree. George Gillies and his friend Pete Harkness are observers of the act, and afterwards George finds himself questioning the ‘facts’ of the case. As he pieces what really happened to Mr. Bell together, his challenge is trying to convince others to care about the miscarriage of so-called justice that has taken place.

Number of Pages: 283

Age Range: 13-14

Review: Set against the historical backdrop of Canada’s only lynching, George Gillies is a fifteen year-old learning to ask questions and think for himself. In 1884, living in a society of settlers whose wounds are still fresh from the American Civil War as well as many skirmishes with the Natives, this is not an easy task. In his eagerness to prove his manhood, George follows a riled up lynching mob as they kidnap a Native boy named Louie Sam and hang him for the murder of Mr. Bell without evidence or a trial.

Except as soon as George sees Louie Sam, he knows the ‘facts’ he has heard from others can’t be right. Louie Sam is practically a child, and George can’t imagine him being as vicious as he has been described. But even with his doubts, the mob-mentality controls the situation, and George and his father have little opportunity to stop Louie Sam’s hanging.

When it’s all over through, George is changed. Determined to find out the truth of who actually committed Mr. Bell’s murder, once George starts asking questions he can’t stop, and the answers often aren’t pretty.

Through The Lynching of Louie Sam, author Elizabeth Stewart thoughtfully explores one young man’s coming of age after realising the adults he used to trust have personal and sinister motivations. She weaves together historical fact with George’s personal journey of awareness, and the effect is a story is gripping and informative.

George himself is a character with admirable traits in a complicated situation. His struggle between wanting to get the truth out in the open and the resistance to acknowledge what actually happened he meets with all those in positions of power is frustrating and demoralizing. There is never true justice for Louie Sam as Stewart tells us, but through the act of writing about how others were affected by Louie Sam’s lynching, she lets her reader be unforgettably affected too.

But my favourite part was Stewart’s preface where she lays everything out honestly by saying her book is George’s story, and the personal story of Louie Sam remains untold.

Memorable Quotes:

“When we reach The Crossing, Mr. Moultray speaks to us. His face is somber and weighted down, like he doesn’t feel in a celebrating mood any more than I do. Or maybe he’s just tired. I know I am. Mr. Moultray tells the men that they did what needed to be done, and that they should be proud. But the next thing he says is that none of us should ever talk about what happened – not to our families, not to the sheriff, not to anyone. The Nooksack Vigilance Committee is henceforth a secret brotherhood. How can you have it both ways? If we’re supposed to be so proud of what we did to Louie Sam, then why are we keeping secrets about it?” – George from The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart, pages 86-87

“I’ve done it again – opened my mouth when I shouldn’t have. Still, I’m sick and tired of people telling me to keep quiet.” – George from The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart, page 153

“‘There’s no need to worry your mam about this business,’ says Father. ‘Let’s keep it between us men.’


‘Yes, sir,’ I tell him, proud that he includes me as a man. But now I feel the weight of being a man, too.” – Conversation between George’s father and George from The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart, page 227

“I walk back along the creek the way I came, thinking about my talk with Joe. There’s a lot that’s mysterious about the Indian way of thinking, and Joe is a particular curiosity. Sometimes he talks like a white man, and other times like an Indian. He’ll always look like an Indian, though, except for his blue eyes, so I guess that decides the question as far as white folks are concerned. But it seems that everybody on this earth – whites and natives alike – suffers in one way or another. And, in one way or another, all of us are praying for that suffering to be eased.” – George from The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart, page 253

“‘You were there that night, George,’ he tells me. ‘It was your idea to follow them. You were part of it. Don’t make like you wasn’t’


I stare at him wishing with all my might that I could find some reason why he’s wrong, why he had more to do with the lynching than I did, why he’s guilty of taking a boy’s life and I’m innocent. But he speaks the truth. I’ve got blood on my hands, same as him. The only difference between us is that I’m sorry for what happened. What use is that to Louie Sam?” – George pondering Pete pointing out his guilt in the lynching from The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart, page 270

The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart is published by Annick Press, (2012).

Red Sea by Diane Tullson

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Book Reviews, British Columbia | 0 comments

Red SeaSummary: Heading down a troubling path with a nineteen year-old boyfriend named Ty, fourteen year-old Libby takes it hard when her mother divorces her father to marry a new man named Duncan. Despite her attempts to break them up including her claim that Duncan has abused her, Libby still finds herself on a year-long sailing trip with Duncan and her mother. But when Libby’s stalling means their boat leaves for their Red Sea journey after the others they’ve been travelling with, an encounter with pirates changes all of their lives forever.

Number of Pages: 169

Age Range: 13-14

Review: Having trouble with her parents’ divorce and her mother’s quick remarriage, fourteen year-old Libby acts out by dating an older guy, skipping school and generally hanging out with the wrong crowd. In the past, Libby has made some self-destructive decisions, and her mother and Duncan decide to take her on a year-long sailing trip to remove her from her harmful environment and give her a new start.

But it doesn’t seem to work. Libby remains as bitter as ever, emailing her best friend at every port to check up on her boyfriend and even making false claims against Duncan about inappropriate behaviour and abuse. When her mother and Duncan want to get an early start on the Red Sea part of their journey so they can travel in a group, Libby purposely stays late in town, forcing their boat to leave well after the others.

When pirates attack their lone ship though, Libby transforms overnight. The only one left to care for her mother and steer the ship, Libby deals with the nightmare she finds herself in with remarkable maturity, despite dealing with understandable fear and post-traumatic stress. Her survival is astonishing and riveting as her determination triumphs over a seemingly hopeless situation.

Its resolution changes Libby. Going back to her old life is not an option because what she has seen and experienced sets her apart. Libby re-evaluates the path she has been on and actively works to change, but a terrible price has been paid to inspire this change.

Memorable Quotes:

“The pastor told us that in one country he went to, if you brought supplies to a village to build a new well, the bricks and mortar might end up in one family’s possession if the village deemed that the one family needed the supplies more than the village as a whole. The village is happy for the one family. In that country, the people have a different concept of need. It’s not wrong, the pastor said, just different.


Apparently, the pirates too have a different concept of need.” – Libby from Red Sea by Diane Tullson, pages 110-111

“She’s crying now, and I let her be. The pirates blew a hole in her life; I never used a gun, but I leveled some emotionally lethal shots, at her and at myself. Her leg will heal faster than her heart.” – Libby talking about her mother from Red Sea by Diane Tullson, page 162

Red Sea by Diane Tullson is published by Orca Book Publishers, (2005).