When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neal

When We Believed in Mermaids

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 fifteen 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 wor...

Details When We Believed in Mermaids

TitleWhen We Believed in Mermaids
Release DateJul 16th, 2019
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreFiction, Romance, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

Reviews When We Believed in Mermaids

  • Jeanne Adamek
    I am planning, sometime in the future, on re-reading this book. Barbara ONeal is one of my favorite authors, her descriptive abilities are powerful... lush. I have to admit that I couldnt dnf this story. it wasnt boring or slow. If anything it was (for me) too detailed, too dark.I admit I read to a certain degree to escape. To experience things (even if only on paper) like visiting new places, foods, ideas or even time periods. And this story did...
  • Susan Peterson
    When We Believed in Mermaids is an engrossing, turbulent, and poignant book about two sisters, Kit and Josie. When the story begins, Kit is shocked to see her sister in the background of a news broadcast from New Zealand, thousands of miles away from their home in California--especially since Josie had been killed 15 years earlier. When she goes to New Zealand to find her sister, Kit unknowingly sets off a chain of events that will impact her own...
  • Jeff
    You're Going To Want To Read This Somewhere Where You Can Cry. Wow. This is a tragic tale, all around. It is primarily about two sisters and the scars they share - and the lengths they will both go to try to overcome them. Amazing story, solid mystery (though some of it becomes obvious earlier than the actual reveal). This one will grabs you with the first line, has you tearing up a bit early on... and then can have full on water works through th...
  • Barb in Maryland
    3.5 stars. I enjoyed it, but... I was often annoyed with the characters, the narration, the speed with which everything occurred. (Maybe I was just reading with my grumpy pants on).The blurb is pretty good at giving the basic set-up.The chapters alternate viewpoints between Kit and Mari, with each chapter revealing more of the past while also grounding us in each sister's current life. Kit's search for her sister (and her budding romance with Jav...
  • Elizabeth
    I enjoyed this book, even loved it. But I got confused occasionally. The story kept me interested, but I found it a little unrealistic. But I read on and really liked the last half of the book (no spoilers). Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.
  • Jamie Beck
    There are too many things to rave about here. Lush writing, as always with this author. You will feel transported to New Zealand, a place I think we must all go visit. You'll be lulled into an intensely romantic subplot. You'll have a front row seat to a bittersweet reunion filled with angst and hope and disappointment and love. This story is really set in two time periods, but is elegantly, artfully woven together by well-placed flashbacks that ...
  • Samantha
    Kit Bianci believed her sister was dead, that is until she saw her on the television news 15 years later. Kit decides to travel to New Zealand and find her sister Josie and get some sort of explanation or closure. When the two sisters are reunited all their dark secrets are revealed. They will have to share all of them in order to move on and fix the broken relationships. I found this book to be very slow to start and was almost halfway through t...
  • Faith Freewoman
    Heartrending and beautiful. But this is no easy ride. The sisters' problems are real and crushing, and about halfway through I was far from convinced that they would resolve them, or their relationships. The men in this story are villains or heroes, or both, and I found Dylan the most poignant, while Javier was the one I want to take home with me.But none of the men are able to step in and save the day. The sisters must do it for themselves, and ...
  • Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
    This was my first book by this author and I absolutely loved it! The writing was so beautiful and I loved the characters. I wasn't sure how I felt about Josie at first and why she did what she did, but the way the author weaved her history through the present, it really explained a lot of things and I felt a lot of sympathy towards her. The sisters had a childhood that was dark and sad and there was a lot of neglect there and it was interesting t...
  • Miki Mackennedy
    “My sister has been dead for nearly fifteen years when I see her on the TV news.”With that fantastic opening line, we drop in to the story of 2 sisters, one presumed dead and one barely living.Two little girls, Josie and Kit, are raised by parents so enthralled with each other that they neglect their children, leaving them largely unattended in a little cove by their home. During a storm, a broken and unwanted teenage boy appears as their doo...
  • chels marieantoinette
    This book was a little cheesy for me. The love story and all the woah-is-me stuff were a little too much and I found myself uninterested & irritated. Kit and Josie definitely had horrible childhoods, but everyone needs to move on and move up eventually. I wanted to shake both of them.The dialogue was well-written, though. The descriptions of surfing, Sicilian home-cooking, touring Auckland, and the art-deco Sapphire House create beautiful imagery...
  • Bambi Rathman
    There is nothing like the connection of love between two sisters and the bonds they share throughout their lives. This book is the story of two sisters, Josie and Kit, who are so close to each other growing up that it seems nothing would ever separate them from each other. Their bond is unbreakable, or so it seems. Secrets, heartaches, doubts, suspicions, and broken trust....will they be able to overcome so many hurtful events and find their sist...
  • Shannon Dyer
    Round up to 4.5 stars. Review to come at AAR.
  • Marlene
    Originally published at Reading RealityThis is the story about the deconstruction of a life. Not in the sense that things fall apart, because the lives of both Kit and Josie Bianchi fell apart a long, long time ago. The echoes of what happened in their childhood have rippled like aftershocks through everything that has happened since.Including, but definitely not limited to, Josie’s death – and the faking thereof.When We Believed in Mermaids ...
  • Michelegg
    How I adored every single thing about this book! From the childhood lives of Kit, Josie and Dylan on the California beach, to a mystery that took me to New Zealand and all of its beauty, there is so much to be immersed in and I was. This was a very special and very tender book for me. And although there were some beautiful romantic themes, this book focused more on sister and sibling relationships and explored the theme of forgiveness in the most...
  • Jackie
    Definitely one of the best books I have read this year! A first by me by this author and won't be my last! I read this in a day and could not put it down!! This story of two sisters lost in many ways after much tragedy in their lives left them to find themselves and try to overcome pain and loss. I'm order to move on this they must face the truth of the past, but it may be more than they can bare. Amazing characters and story line will keep you o...
  • Melanie
    Like every one of her books, the waiting for it to be in my hands was interminable. And then I tried so hard to read slowly and parcel it out so I got to enjoy it longer, but I couldn’t. Her writing is just lush and immersive and lovely - I want to live a tiny speck of the technicolor, immediate experience of all of her characters. The way they eat or listen to music or walk under a tree is like they are rediscovering those things, with extra b...
  • Melissa
    Moving story about sisterhood, love, and learning how to let go of the past in order to live fully in the present.O'Neal has a gift for reaching deep into the soul and breaking the reader's heart and then mending it again. If I have one quibble about this story was that the backstory wasn't revealed fast enough for me, I wanted to know more quickly about the things that shaped the sisters as they were growing up, and some of it was only hinted at...
  • Linda
    This is a poignant story about a dysfunctional family, mermaids, surfing, food, a cat, and love. I don't like stories that are too sappy, but this had just the right amount of romance thrown in--and had me crying at the end...
  • Kim Fox
    I absolutely loved this book! A quick, easy read. A little drama, romance, sadness and happiness. And you know it is good when it makes you cry! I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
  • OjoAusana
    3.5 starsWasnt bad but much less mystery than i thought and more drama. Sex scenes were unneeded and kinda annoying/drawn out but could be easily skipped and nothing was missed. Would recommend to someone who liked more drama/romance books tho.
  • Kathryn Holley
    This book was amazing. The writing was detailed. The characters so developed. If I could crawl inside and stay here, I would.
  • Kiki Z
    This book was a solid read but a few things kept me from really enjoying it. One, Josie is very selfish, and when she's young, with her issues, it's understandable. As an adult though... I really cannot fathom how she stayed away from her family for fifteen years seemingly without remorse, lied to her husband for over a decade, and thought she could get away with it. Two, Josie and Kit reconnect far too late in the story for real drama to happen,...
  • Kathie Mikulovsky
    What a beautiful novel.I read this book in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. So complex, so poignant and just a little terrifying. Anyone who loves reading about family, relationships and secrets will love this book.
  • Tracey
    "My sister had been dead for fifteen years when I see her on the TV news."I have to admit I almost DNF'd this several times in the beginning but so glad I did not. The audio was brilliantly done.
  • Noreen
    This is a wonderful story of survival and the special bond of sisters. There are different ways to survive and this story shows how two sisters choose their paths. It's heartbreaking to read about the slippery slope of addiction. I loved the characters and the bond that Josie and Kit shared. The book is an emotional rollercoaster of sisterhood, love, secrets and the chance to find forgiveness. I highly recommend this book.
  • Cheryl
    I liked this book. It is about sisters, family, relationships, love, loss, secrets, and new beginnings. Barbara O'Neal pens a sweet and charming book that will warm readers hearts with engaging characters and a nice storyline in When We Believed in Mermaids. Getting to know the two sisters, really helped to bring them to life for me. Also, it brought me closer to them both. I had no favorite as I could relate to both of them for different reasons...
  • Sue
    It’s surprising to me that something written by an author I consider a good “chick lit” writer, leaves me with the one word description of “powerful.” It’s quite an accomplishment to write a book with torturous family dynamics, a love story or two, some good sex scenes, a hint of mystery and an even smaller hint of ghosts, and leave this reader with the description of powerful. Throw in a house that’s almost one of the book characte...
    This is a beautiful story of the bond of sisters. Kit’s sister Josie was killed in a terrorist attack 15 years ago.So why is she on Tv reporting from New Zealand !This begins Kit’s Journey to discover the truth.A beautifully written story that alternates between the past and the present and the relationship between these two sisters The writing is absolutely gorgeous and the story is one to be devoured!
  • Sue
    I am always interested in books about sisters and the bond between them because of the bond that I have with my sisters. When I read the first line of this book, I knew that it was going to be an emotional story about the two sisters and the relationship between them."My sister has been dead for nearly fifteen years when I see her on the TV news." (p1)Josie and Kit grew up on the beach in California where their dad owned a restaurant overlooking ...