I must hang my head in shame to admit how long this novel, Priddy’s Tale by Harper Fox, has been on my To Be Read (TBR) list—suffice it to say it has been way too long. I am a huge fan of this author’s work and this one, a tale of merman and the sea, is a bit of a departure for her, but a beautiful novel nonetheless.
Jem Priddy has lived a life few would ever want. With a legacy as a “Priddy” whose worthless, “never managing to amount to too much” lives cast a shadow over everyone who carries the name, Jem comes from a long line of less than savory characters. His own father is a drunken cheat who took out his anger and his taste for drink on poor Jem as he was growing up and so it makes sense that as this story opens we discover how Jem has barely survived a drunken, drugged bender leaving him with memory gaps and so much more. Jem is lost, afloat in many ways, and his best friend Kit is moving on, now at university and building a life that Jem can only wish for but never have.
Alone and trying to survive, Jem takes on the job of lighthouse keeper and tries his best just to put one foot in front of the other most days. He is a recovering addict and, as such, knows that the only way he can move forward is to lock himself away from the temptation that drink and drugs has for him or most assuredly lose his life the next time he indulges. There are still moments when he feels thrown back into that horrible night where hallucinations took on the edge of horrific nightmares and Kit was the sole reason he survived. So when Jem sees a man drowning in the sea, he naturally calls the rescue guard and goes into the water to help him. Little does he realize that it is he who will be ultimately saved and that his life is about to change forever.
I have read a few merman tales before and never have I fallen in love with the sea nearly as much as with this novel. Harper Fox has that rare ability to craft an entire world out of words—building the sights and sounds of the sea right before your eyes and drawing you into its mysteries and beauty. Her merman, Merou, is not only physically gorgeous, but mischievous and sexy as well. But it is his vulnerability that captures your imagination and heart—just as he does Jems’.
Jem is so broken and needy, yet there is within him a resilience that is staggering to behold in its truth. He has battled his demons all his life, both real and imagined, and when he is offered love he grasps at it like the dying man he has become. Merou and Jem together are breathtaking and entrancing. The story is carefully woven and captivating and kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed Priddy’s Tale by Harper Fox and encourage you to grab a copy of your own but don’t let it lay on your TBR list, read it today!
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