Cordelia Eaton, an orphan at just twelve-years-old, lives a quiet life in a quiet Virginia town with her grandmother. She feels isolated, bored, and most importantly dull – but soon discovers she is anything but. Her town whispers folklores about a family of eternal mermaids living in the depths of the sea, and Cordelia comes to realize these folklores are not only true but also that she is part of them. Her human parents have passed away, but instead of dying, they’ve transformed into mermaids and returned to the sea, where they live a forever life alongside the rest of their family, including Cordelia’s twin sister, who died at a young age.
As Cordelia comes to terms with this extraordinary realization of her heritage, she must decide whether to follow in her family’s footsteps, continue the Eaton bloodline, and find the way to the sea herself. But an unhappy childhood, filled with negligent parents and isolation, leaves her wondering: what’s the point of eternity if she’ll spend it alone?
The Life Below is a coming-of-age novel spanning multiple years that contemplates questions we all must face about our own destinies yet set against a lush, dreamlike backdrop of a magical world under the sea. Cordelia must face one of life’s greatest antagonists: isolation. She also learns truths often hide beneath the water’s surface.
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