I picked up this title on a kindle deal because I knew that it had to deal with mermaids! Little did I know how unique this book really was.
Synopsis: via Goodreads
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
Review: I found out after reading this book, and after doing a little more research for this review, that this book was inspired by a song written by Daveed Diggs and his band, Clipped.
What was really great about this book was the vivid imagery. I could picture this underwater society with such clarity. The emotions that Rivers conveyed in her writing was astounding. She was able to capture the sensitivity of the characters, the weight of the past, the lightness of the future, and the strength of remembering.
As Yetu struggles with her moral dilemma- guiding her people or allowing herself to live- I was able to truly understand her deeper need for knowledge. She missed the memories and she missed herself. That lack of identity caused her to feel lost and frustrated in a world where people relied on her so heavily.
This was written beautifully and steeped in an old timey, mythological, feel. Knowing that is it legend based on historical events makes the development of the story even more powerful.
Have you read The Deep? What did you think?