October 18, 2009

Book Review: Daughters of the Sea #1: Hannah

Posted by at 8:26 am in Reads | Permalink

Daughterofthesea_130 Gather 'round, readers, and let me tell you a story.

There once was a young orphan girl named Hannah who, upon turning 15, was assigned to work on a farm in Kansas. As she traveled from the Boston orphanage to the wide pastures of the farmland, the strangest things began happening: she began shedding her skin like a snake, leaving behind crystalline rocks of salt in her wake. The condition was so perplexing that she was sent back to Boston.

It was the turn of the 20th century, and Hannah was then assigned to suitable employment as a scullery maid at one of the grandest houses in Boston. She tried to fit in, to disappear, as her job duties required. But she felt a longing for something greater, a longing she couldn't name except when she caught a rare glimpse of the ocean. Through the drudgery of the day-to-day work, through tiptoeing around the issues of the house's eldest daughter (not to mention her strange, sinister cat), through the unexpected connection with a famous painter employed by the master of the house, Hannah felt the sea calling to her. And soon, after she and the servant staff were sent to a remote island in Maine for the summer season, she began answering its calls, and the life-changing secret of her existence was revealed.

Daughters of the Sea: Hannah, by Kathryn Lasky, is a gorgeously written and completely captivating book for ages 12 and up. From its beautiful cover to its intriguing premise (“The tide is turning,” warns the back cover), I was immediately taken with Hannah's journey and found myself anxiously flipping through the pages to discover what would happen. While I guessed the truth about Hannah fairly early in the book (I won't ruin it here!), I had to keep reading to find out how the painter, the cat, and the rich eldest daughter all tied into the premise. And I'm glad I did; the book really picks up in pace once Hannah relocates to the cottage in Maine, and the descriptions of the island and the sea made me long for a turn-of-the-century New England summer of my own.

So tell me, commenters, does Daughters of the Sea: Hannah sound like something you’d like to read? Let me know in the comments!

—Morgan, Scholastic Staffer

  1. Lavender Blue

    Whoa, talk about drama! I like the story line but one thing I am not-so-sure about is how frighting it might be. See, I’m not really into mystery and bone-chilling books, but this one sounds so good I might just read it!

  2. Kelsey

    It sounds weird. I don’t think I would generally read it, but Kathryn Lasky is a good author. I like her historical fiction. So I guess I’ll read it.

  3. strawberryicecream13

    It sounds good but my absolute fav book is “distant waves”by suzanne weyn.im about halfway through and it rocks!!!

  4. carritigers

    i like the book i wish i ciuld right a book win i grow up i am going to make a book and the name of it is going to be fairys and drangers. i wish a lot of kids and adults read it

  5. Crystal

    Sounds cool! I think I know about her from another story I read, but I’ll have to read to find out… :) Thanks for another cool book recommendation!

  6. Joebrofan101

    Sounds like one of those books that I love to read.I am really eager to read and find out the ending!

  7. l u c c a 4

    It sounds really good–I’ll probably check it out from the library or buy it if it’s in paperback. The main thing that bugs me about these kind of books, though, is that they are sometimes really cliché, or shallow. This one doesn’t sound like that, though! Thanks for the recommendation ;-)

  8. treehugger17

    That sounds like it will be a very interesting book. I’m not much into mermaids and things like that, but I might read it anyway. It sounds like a good book and looks like it will be very in depth.

  9. cc3134

    i like how it tells detell and stuff like that it was a good book and i stoped when it was talking about when she started answering the calls but it was still a good book.

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