Call Down the Moon

In the Presence of Angels

Lilies on the Lake

 
Song from the Sea
by Katherine Kingsley
(Dell, $5.99, PG) ISBN 0440237440
**
A fish out of water heroine who knows nothing about English society (yawn). A hero who has declared he can no longer love after losing his wife and child. (yawn) A spiteful cousin who resents the hero's status (yawn). It all ads up to Song from the Sea, a book that is as uninspired as they come.

Callista Melbourne is our heroine, raised on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu. Papa has arranged a marriage with the son of a good family friend so that Callista will have someone to take care of her when he's gone. At her father's deathbed, Callista agrees to go to England, but manages to phrase her agreement in such a way that she's not lying. See, Callie has no intention of going through with the marriage. She will simply go all the way to England to turn down her betrothed Harold, and then come back to a life of blissful loveliness in Corfu.

Adam Carlyle is our hero. His life has been empty since the death of his sweet wife and child two years ago. Adam has decided to kill himself, but simple suicide will not do. He must disappear as if he is still alive, so that his estate will be out of reach of his greedy cousin Harold. Yes, that name sounds familiar for a reason, I'll get back to it. So, Adam is rowing himself to France where he will then let the sea swallow him up.

Just as he is laying himself down in the boat to be drifted away, jumping being too obvious, Adam hears an angelic voice. It's no angel though, but Callie who for some reason is standing on the bow of a ship, in the middle of a storm, singing to a seagull. A wave washes her overboard and Adam feels duty bound to save her. Suicide can wait, apparently.

When Callie wakes up, all she remembers is that her first name is Callie. She has amnesia. There is a strange man taking care of her, who seems to be put out by her presence. Due to this, she decides to lie about her amnesia and starts making up a past for herself. Her name is now Calliope Magnus, and she's from Italy.

As Callie recovers, Adam realizes he is starting to find purpose to his life again. This will not do! He must get rid of Callie so he can be miserable again. He sends his valet/friend Nigel out to see if he can discover Callie's identity. Nigel does indeed discover who Callie really is, and also discovers that she was coming to England to marry Adam's nasty cousin Harold.

Continuing the tradition of ridiculous logic, Nigel decides not to share this information with Adam. He figures Callie is perfect for Adam, and if he can just get her to hang around a bit longer, Adam will realize that too.

So, we have Callie hanging around being all sweet and adorable. She can commune with nature and animals. Everyone loves her, so it's just a matter of time before Adam does. This is the plot. There are little bits involving Harold and his typical scheming, bitter mother trying to get Callie back, but these are all solved so quickly that they create no tension or suspense at all. For example, Harold's plot to put Adam out of commission is thwarted almost instantly by one of Callie's little spiritual feelings.

Both Adam and Callie are dull, familiar characters. The attempt to make Callie a little different with her "soul songs" and other spiritual mumbo jumbo only succeeds in coming off rather silly. The secondary characters are no better, particularly the loyal caring servants. They just want the master to be happy, and if only he'd realize he loves that sweet, adorable Callie, the spell would be broken! Oh wait, that was Disney's Beauty and the Beast. It's not hard to get confused, one of the characters even steals the line about "something being there". Nothing original here.

Therein lies the problem with this book. There is nothing new, therefore there is nothing to keep the reader entertained. Song from the Sea is a lullaby, perfect for readers having trouble sleeping.

--Anne Bulin


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