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When We Believed in Mermaids

A Novel
Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

Non-member price: $41.78

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Art of Inheriting Secrets comes an emotional new tale of two sisters, an ocean of lies, and a search for the truth.

Her sister has been dead for fifteen years when she sees her on the TV news...

Josie Bianci was killed years ago on a train during a terrorist attack. Gone forever. It’s what her sister, Kit, an ER doctor in Santa Cruz, has always believed. Yet all it takes is a few heart-wrenching seconds to upend Kit’s world. Live coverage of a club fire in Auckland has captured the image of a woman stumbling through the smoke and debris. Her resemblance to Josie is unbelievable. And unmistakable. With it comes a flood of emotions - grief, loss, and anger - that Kit finally has a chance to put to rest: by finding the sister who’s been living a lie.

After arriving in New Zealand, Kit begins her journey with the memories of the past: of days spent on the beach with Josie. Of a lost teenage boy who’d become part of their family. And of a trauma that has haunted Kit and Josie their entire lives.

Now, if two sisters are to reunite, it can only be by unearthing long-buried secrets and facing a devastating truth that has kept them apart far too long. To regain their relationship, they may have to lose everything.

©2019 Barbara Samuel (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-08-2019

Narrator Pronunciation

I am about 2 hours into this book and although the story is ok I am about to give up because the narrators are AWFUL! The one narrating Kit is tolerable I guess but not that great but the one that is narrating for Josie/Mari is clearly not American. That’s not a problem In and of itself, i actually usually prefer foreign narrators because their voices tend to be more pleasant to me. However, she is narrating an American character and nowhere in America do they pronounce I as U. Fungers, that’s how she said fingers. Every short I is pronounced as “uh” and it is driving me crazy! I may need a refund on this one.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • kindle unlimited user
  • 02-08-2019

When we believed in !mermaids

I don't get the rave reviews granted I'm not finished yet but a third thru i find it very average , kit is supposed to be looking for her sister in a foreign country but so far she spends a lot of time iwith a man she has met. Going around as if she had all the time In the world a physician with time off? Kinda silly almost, In my opinion it would have to change drastically to rate above a 3 for me anywa.y but we are all different when it comes to storytelling .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Eun
  • 18-10-2019

A beautiful story of life, love, forgiveness & redemption

I wasn’t sure about this book when I began reading. After the first couple of chapters I needed to follow the breadcrumbs which Barbara O’Neil scattered.
At times heartbreaking, the conclusion shows that love, in its many forms, can redeem.
The audio version was well done.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Taylor bearden
  • 18-10-2019

best book I've read in forever!!

only wish I could give it more than 5 stars
it was fantastic!! definitely recommend

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TJMcKinney
  • 16-10-2019

Amazing!

I loved the story! It was very well written and the narrator made it very enjoyable.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • impaz0330
  • 07-10-2019

Beautiful Story

Deep and poignant. Reminded me of my own relationship with my sisters. The damage we’ve caused, the love we share, the things we experienced in totally different ways. Made me cry a few times, I was completely hooked.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Leslie
  • 06-10-2019

Not for me and I love this author

I waited a while to listen to this book as though it sounded interesting and I adore the author, there was something telling me to skip it. Any yet all of the accolades and wonderful reviews and I gave in. Not my worst decision, but certainly not my best. The family is all messed up and the things that happen to the kids are heinous at best and clearly life altering and yet… I cannot fathom in any world that after faking her death that anyone would be forgiving and let her sister back in no matter what happened to her. There are just some things you cant come back from and that no I am sorry will make better. Seriously, Mari/Josie faked her death and went about life as if nothing happened with no regard for the crap storm she left in her wake. She lied to a clearly wonderful man and her children and then just because she lived through some really awful times thought it was okay to just walk away and leave her younger sister to clean up. I was mad when her husband gave in so easily. She was not deserving of his forgiveness , at least immediately. Once a master manipulator and liar always one. Blood only goes so far. The only decent person in the whole book was Javier. The mom, though recovered (major kudos to her for that as the struggle never ever goes away) seemingly did nothing to make up for her past and pushed her daughter to go to Aukland because she was too chicken to do so herself. She never took any responsibility for the horror she inflicted on her children and then just expected out all to be okay because she became sober. For goodness sakes her daughter even supported her with what seemed like little thanks no appreciation. She seems to have skipped the “make amends” step. Then at the end a few minutes of “we love you” for a cheery happily ever after was a total farce. I may be alone in this, but unless you are able to disconnect half your brain suspend any form of reality and accept things that would never ever happen than this is for you. If you cannot do those things than skip this. It honestly just made me mad and I was happy when it was over. Sorry.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean Callahan
  • 06-10-2019

Intense and engrossing

I don't usually write reviews . I'm ashamed to admit it, but I usually just gobble up the story and move on to the next. I read The Art of Inheriting Secrets (several times) and moved on without even even thanking the author for the wonderful listening experience. So I do it now.

Thank you for sharing your insight and talent. I am so lucky to have come across this terrific book. I lived in Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Huntington Beach and other beach towns for most of my life. For a time, I was lucky enough to live close enough to the ocean to fall asleep to the sound of the sea. I don't serf, but I swim and body serf, and water has always been my good friend. As a child I suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and had a mother who should have protected me. For a time, I had a beloved younger sister who was a witness and a solice. I have also had loyal and loving dogs and cats to share my life.

I never cared for drugs or alcohol as books have always been my drug of choice. This is a good thing, I suppose. In any case, thank you once again for writing this excellent story. For anyone who wants to know more; it's a story about the dazzling joy and innocence and suffering of childhood and about sisters who loved and hated protected and betrayed lost and found each other. It's also a story about survival and the possibility of claiming, even demanding love and forginvess.

I now live and work in Hong Kong, still surrounded by sunshine and sea. But, it's not California sun and sea which I miss every day. Please keep the good reads coming!

I would like to make one more comment; what happened to the smarmy pedifile? I would have enjoyed seeing him taken down. What's more, it needed to happen, and the author hinted that it would.









  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-10-2019

When We Believed in Mermaids

Fascinating book about two sisters raised in a dysfunctional family with strong ties which wove them together. Although much of their childhood guy they were ignored and depending on one anothe, along comes an abused and battered young man who gives them an resemblance of peace and order. How their world falls apart and what brings them back together is an action packed and mesmerizing story which you will enjoy! Especially well presented in audio.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendy Harrell
  • 05-10-2019

Fabulous story!! Brilliant author!!

Her stories flow so effortlessly and such intense characters. Superior narration. I’m so glad I discovered this writer!!