Aquamarine: Hailey and Claire are two best friends who can't even remember a time before they knew each other. But the unthinkable has happened - Claire is moving to Florida, and this is their very last summer together. To make matters worse, the swim club near the beach where they've spent every summer of their lives is going to be demolished. It has become so dilapidated and run down that only Hailey, Claire and the sole surviving employee spend any time there anymore. Their final summer together is complicated by an amazing appearance of a mermaid in the murky swimming pool, and only two friends who know each other's strengths and weaknesses so well could possibly hope to cope with the tangle of events that follow.
Indigo: In a small town where it rarely rains, the two McGill boys grow up slightly apart from everyone else. Townspeople think that there's something very strange about them, with their love of water and the webbing between their fingers. But thirteen-year-old-Martha loves that they're different. She hates her town, hates how everyone dreads rain ever since the town was flooded years earlier, and she hates how the other kids treat her two friends. Most of all, she hates how people pity her because her mother died the year before, and she certainly hates that her father doesn't seem to care much about anything anymore - not even that horrible Hildy Swoon with her casseroles is elbowing her way into his life, and shoving Martha out. Trevor (Trout) and Eli (Eel) McGill represent everything that isn't her town - their differences simply show that there's more to the world than boring old Oak Grove. Then the rains begin, the town's barrier to keep out the water keeps the water in, and big changes start happening.
This book has been floating around the house for a long time. I have not read anything by Alice Hoffman before. Years ago I tried Turtle Moon and for whatever reason, I could not get into it and gave up after fifty pages. My friend Devinoni loves Alice Hoffman, though, particularly Practical Magic (he's always careful to say the book but definitely not the movie), so I thought I'd give this a try (plus it's also the first of my 10 books to read for Molly's personal reading challenge).
I found the book to be sweet and simple, with engaging characters and settings that were described in such sensory detail that I felt them settle around me as I read. These two novellas have the feel of short stories - I think I read the entire book in an hour or two - so it was a good way to get a taste of Hoffman's writing style, and it did make me interested in reading her longer works (maybe Practical Magic next?).
Water Tales: Aquamarine and Indigo (Two Novels) by Alice Hoffman (Scholastic, 2003)