In the prologue of A BLUE SO DARK, we find Aura on a family vacation in Florida , when Aura is only ten years old. This is before her parents’ divorce, before her mother begins to sink dangerously into the darkness of schizophrenia. The Florida Aura finds on her vacation doesn’t live up to the paradise she had imagined. But a tub of mermaids, carved from driftwood, that she discovers in a souvenir shop, offers a chance for Aura and her mother to share a moment together…the kind of sweet moment that seems gone for good when we next encounter Aura, at fifteen, in the book’s opening chapter.
...From the prologue:
I dug through the lot, picking up each new treasure and turning it over the way I’d imagined, before leaving Missouri , that I’d turn over seashells along the fringes of the exotic Florida shore. “Mermaids $2,” a sign taped to the gray metal tub advertised, and suddenly, I knew exactly what I wanted to take home from our disappointing trip. I was still trying to pick which mermaid I’d buy when a redheaded sea creature with a shiny gold tail was snatched from my hand.
“How much for all of them?” Mom asked, tossing the mermaid back the way a fisherman tossed back a tiny catch that just wasn’t enough. Her smiling face glowed from behind the curtain of her long black hair. God, that smile, it had a thousand watts of pride in it, and stretched farther across her cheeks than the grin she’d worn when I’d won Best Painting in the All School Art Exhibition the year before.
“All?” the man at the counter laughed. “Good grief, lady, waddaya want ’em all for?”
“For my daughter,” Mom said softly. She looked down at me, her eyes not just glittering, but snapping with fire, like two 4th of July sparklers. “She can’t decide which one she wants. I know, because I’d never be able to, either.” She ran her finger down the length of my nose, almost like you’d stroke a favorite pet, adding, “We’re just alike, me and Aura.”
And you know, back then, the idea of that didn’t scare the absolute hell out of me.
Was that amazing, or what? If that sneak peek doesn't get you wanting to read A BLUE SO DARK, I don't know what will. I already got a feeling I'm going to absolutely LOVE this book. And yes, Holly, I see what you mean about your case of metaphor-itis. lol. What did you all think?
Oh, and in case you missed them, be sure to check out my Interview with Holly and her Guest Post.