‘Two If By Sea’3/23/2016
Frank Mercy had led an interesting life. Raised on a horse farm in Wisconsin, he had a career he loved as a mounted police officer in Chicago. He was disabled with a serious leg injury after being struck by a teenage driver. Financially secure from the legal settlement, he left the United States for Australia where he trained horses and volunteered as a first responder. There he met and married an emergency room doctor named Natalie. And then Jacquelyn Mitchard’s new novel, “Two If By Sea,” begins.
In Brisbane, a Christmas Eve tsunami sweeps a pregnant Natalie and most of her entire family away. Grief-stricken but aware he can do nothing to save them, Frank joins the rescue effort, pulling a young boy from a van just as it is about to be swept away. For reasons he can’t understand or explain, Frank is uncharacteristically drawn to the boy he calls Ian and smuggles him back to his boyhood home in Wisconsin to raise him as his son.
Frank finds himself fiercely protective of Ian, particularly as it becomes apparent the boy has mysterious, magical gifts. Unexplained events follow him, and Frank struggles to assemble the pieces of the puzzle that is his son. Tension builds as it becomes clear there are others aware of Ian’s powers.
Suspense and the supernatural combine with a portrait of a husband’s grief and a father’s devotion in this affecting family story of a man fighting to rebuild his life after unspeakable loss.
Jacquelyn Mitchard will discuss this new novel and her nearly 20 earlier works on April 6 at 7 p.m. at the Central Library as part of the Des Moines Public Library’s AViD (Authors Visiting in Des Moines) series. CV
Sally Wisdom retired from the Des Moines Public Library in 2011 and found her dream job at Beaverdale Books soon after.