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When We Believed in Mermaids

A Novel
Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (234 ratings)

Non-member price: $41.78

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Publisher's Summary

An Amazon Charts, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best seller

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 15 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.

What listeners say about When We Believed in Mermaids

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mellow yet emotional

I nearly didn’t bother with this book after reading some of the American reviews which were so disparaging of the narration. They were very critical of one of the narrator’s abilities to pronounce certain words. Turns out the narrator (and the character) just have a kiwi accent and her pronunciation was perfectly fine. Granted, a US/Kiwi accent is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s what the character has so it’s how she was narrated! Anyway, this is a gently paced story of self discovery, reflection and love. Probably not one I’ll think of often but certainly enjoyable and engaging.

8 people found this helpful

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Shame about the narration

The use of the so called New Zealand accent was appalling and detracted from the story. If your going to quote place names etc at least get it correct. Maori has a specific pronunciation and it was disappointing to hear that incorrectly pronounced

5 people found this helpful

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Loved it

I really, really liked this book. Dammit, I loved it. Bought this on a complete whim and was hooked from the beginning. Found the characters highly relatable and fell in love with Javier from the moment he arrived. Also enjoyed the inclusion of Kitt's relationship with Hobo, anyone with this type of love in their life will relate to her feelings of guilt and wariness in placing it under stress, Disturbing at times but well handled in the telling. Looking forward to discovering more of Barbara O'Neal's work.

4 people found this helpful

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Dodgy kiwi accent

Liked the overall story but as someone who lives in NZ, I cringed every time they attempted the kiwi accent...so bad!!! If you’re familiar with the accent, maybe stick to reading this one! If you’re not familiar, the kiwi accent sounds nothing like this (just so you know!)

3 people found this helpful

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Loved the story and narration

I really enjoyed this book, it was so heartfelt and the mystery as to why Josie faked her death kept me going. I found the characters interesting and relatable and also especially enjoyed the description of Auckland, having visited there myself recently. Reading other reviews from the USA it is amusing how many people didn’t understand that the narrators were using a Kiwi accent. Yep they do pronounce fingers as fungers!

3 people found this helpful

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The Narrators were amazing.

I loved this deep and moving story and the narrators were truly gifted at playing all the characters. A quiet, soulful story. Although it was good, I had to have breaks along the way as it became very heavy with no lighter, humourous parts unless you count them enjoying surfing.

2 people found this helpful

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Accents poorly executed but good story

Unfortunately the narration is spoiled somewhat by some very poorly executed “NZ” accents :( otherwise good story, but this made it difficult to lis n to and was very distracting. Would have been easier to listen to if read by people who could do the accents properly and correctly pronounce certain words.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

I saw so much of myself in this story it bought me to tears. I have never heard a Kiwi accent as awful though.

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I loved this book

Barbara O'Neal is a brilliant author; she uses exquisite descriptives and narratives to tell this story from the perspective of two sisters. I was engrossed the entire way through this book.

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I wish I had read this one.

I think I would have enjoyed this one more if I had read it - being a kiwi and hearing the attempt at the accent and the pronunciation made me cringe to the point of almost having to turn it off. Enjoyable story though and I looked forward to my work commutes to catch up. The Author is superb at painting the scene. Felt like you were right there. I think I need to explore Auckland more, she made it sound so beautiful!

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  • katie brinson
  • 11-11-2019

Still listening, but barely...

...I can’t imagine who thought it was a good idea to choose a narrator who is incapable of pronouncing certain words/sounds. She can’t say “insight” but rather “unsight”. Not “kiss” but “kuss”. “Nupples” instead of “nipples”. Are you kidding Audible?! Thai doesn’t even get into the words she clearly has never heard and so she butchers the pronunciation. The story is fine. I still haven’t finished but I’m about to stop because of the hideous narration. Please do better next time.

110 people found this helpful

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  • Kaitlyn Bouchard DiCicco
  • 19-12-2019

Hard to get past one of the narrators

Like others have reviewed... it is very hard to get past one of the narrator’s pronunciation of some words. Did no one else listen to this before it was sent off to the public? I really hate to be harsh - it’s not the fault of the narrator because she should have been corrected or not hired in the first place. Many words with the letter “i” in it are pronounced as “u”. “Hands on her hUps”, “kUds”, “nUpples”, etc. It’s very distracting. I’ve only just started listening, but I felt the need to share.

66 people found this helpful

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  • R. Robinson
  • 26-10-2019

Disappointing

I tried to keep going with this.one, but the farther I progressed, the worse it got. I felt like the author was getting paid by the adjective count. The rambling on of descriptive details about every single scene was not only distracting to the story but so repetitive that I started to feel like I was being talked down to. I eventually gave up, no longer caring how the story ends.

59 people found this helpful

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  • Carrie Ann
  • 27-11-2019

Weak!

The story was so lame. It could've been so good had they built up the whole character theme and everything else. Kit as a narrator was horrific! That narrator sounded so disinterested, and it had nothing to do with the character of the story, it was the narrator who is terrible in her delivery. The overall story, bleh, I would not recommend this. It's a cute theme about mermaids and would be a very safe PG-ish book club read.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Mya C.
  • 08-11-2019

A dull read that drags on

I wanted to like this book. Initially, the characters were interesting and the story line slightly engaging. Then, brace for a reiteration of an overly descriptive/repetitive walk through the character's memories over and over again. It was an, "OK, we get it!" kind of book. And....don't get me started on the bizarre narration. It was incredibly distracting to hear the actor with such a thick accent try to sell her American born character through the wraparound syllables of Australia. I found myself focused on her I's which always came out as U's. I am 3/4 way into this book and declared, "U'm, done."

32 people found this helpful

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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.

67 people found this helpful

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  • M. Ryder
  • 22-11-2019

Just Plain Boring!

Story is uneventful, and pretty much goes nowhere... both narrators are really awful! Their attempts at accents were pathetic! Characture-like... don’t even bother listening! Parts read like a romance novel.

17 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • mlfarr
  • 24-08-2019

Couldn't finish.

Got about half way through but couldn't finish. To much descriptions of sex, food and drug use. Story started to really drag making the book feel like it was rambling on forever.

15 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • amazon2
  • 31-10-2019

a little too sentimental

the book was very predictable and sometimes so sentimental or sickeningly sweet that I struggle to get through it.

13 people found this helpful

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    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 .

22 people found this helpful

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  • Ana Silva
  • 26-05-2020

Very weak

There is a good story in there, just not the one that's told. Main characters are bland and unlikely. Any potentially interesting characters are dead. but I wouldn't trust the author not to make them bland stereotypes anyway. Soppy rubbish really. Narrators both have NZ accents as well, which makes no sense. Definitely give it a miss.

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  • T. Giles
  • 03-05-2020

Beautiful

a lovely story, your heart swells like the seas reading this story as lives are unravelled, truths come out. you can smell the salt in the air and feel the sand on your feet and the sun on your face descriptions are so real, warning tissues will be needed. beautifully narrated, my second audio book got use to accents quickly.