Review: “Somewhere Beneath Those Waves Was Her Home” by Sarah Monette

5 of 5 stars.

This is a brilliant, supernatural tale in which the lives of two trapped women are intimately linked. Russet is a kept selkie. Byron Pitt has hidden away the selkie’s skin somewhere in his uncle Ezekiel’s maritime museum. Meanwhile, she strikes back at Byron by accepting another lover, however unsatisfying, in artist-cad Dale Fenton. Magda Fenton knows her husband takes lovers; she feels trapped by betrayal. She tries to find momentary refuge in a maritime museum, but becomes terrified of its proprietor, Ezekiel, when cornered in the disturbing hall of female figureheads. Brought together by circumstances and the men in their lives, the women can be rivals–or sisters . . .

The POV masterfully alternates between 3rd person telling of Russet’s tale and Magda’s 1st person narration. The two POVs are always separated by a museum blurb description of one the figureheads from the maritime hall. For the first half of the story, it is impossible to tell which woman is narrating the first person sections. This is by brilliant design as the parallelisms between their situations have bound them. This tale is highly recommended.

This story appears in the latest anthology edited by Paula Guran, Mermaids and Other Mysteries of the Deep, published by Prime Books. “Somewhere Beneath Those Waves Was Her Home” first appeared in Fantasy edited by Paul Tremblay and Sean Wallace (Prime Books, 2007).
[Check out my other reviews here.]


One response to “Review: “Somewhere Beneath Those Waves Was Her Home” by Sarah Monette

  1. Pingback: Short Story Review: “Impostors” by Sarah Monette | Jaffalogue

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