FTC Disclosure: I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book from the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for an honest opinion.
The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons by Barbara Mariconda
Summary from Goodreads: An enchanted flute that vibrates when danger is near, sparkling mist that unlocks a drawer of family secrets, and a bookcase that expands to conceal her hiding place—these are the bits of magic Lucy P. Simmons has experienced since her parents drowned at sea.
The magic is helping Lucy keep her house—Father’s beloved “ship on shore”—out of the hands of her greedy uncle Victor. Lucy thinks the magic is coming from Marni, a mysterious woman who seems to be one with the sea itself . . . and who bears a striking resemblance to the mythical siren in the painting in Father’s study.
Together, Lucy and Marni devise a plan to stop Uncle Victor’s conniving ways. In the process, Lucy makes unexpected friends and discovers that courage may be the most powerful magic of all. But will it be enough to prevail in the face of her evil uncle?
This is an ok middle grade read, not one that I will rush to recommend to my students. My first reaction was “oh here’s yet another story about an orphaned girl mistreated by her guardians.” Then the author woven in a little magic, a hint of a curse, a mysterious woman who might be a sea witch and a mysterious missing aunt. These are all elements for a good story, but somehow they never quite merged together to create that good story. It’s as though the author was in a hurry to get the story told and didn’t quite take the time to develop it properly.
I was also bothered by the fact that despite the title, Lucy doesn’t embark on a voyage until the end of the book. The ending left so many unanswered questions, that I’m guessing there must be a sequel planned. However, I’m not sure I’ll spend my treasured reading time, reading it.
Rating 3 out of 5.