The Siren Sea


Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
279 Pages
Reviewed on 02/19/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite

The Siren Sea by Erin Eldridge is a beautifully written story about love, adventure, and of course the sea. Thomas Alvarado is taught to swim at a young age by his father, and taught to sail by a friend of his grandmother's, a retired sea captain. After the tragic deaths of his parents, his grandmother assumes custody of Thomas, his younger brother and baby sister. Thomas is invited to the naval academy and sets sail in the war effort against England. The ship he is on escapes the British navy and finally goes down on the west coast of Ireland. Thomas is then rescued by an Irish maiden, Nuala, who brings him home and he is quickly accepted by her family that has no love for the English. When Nuala's father discovers his daughter and Thomas kissing, he is sent packing on the next outgoing ship to Spain. Nuala is standing on the shore when Thomas takes a dramatic course of action that gives rise to legends.

Erin Eldridge tells an amazing love story filled with adventure and a very real cast of characters. She is able to describe the infamous potato famine of Ireland as well as the descendants of Thomas as the story shifts to the adventurous spirit that calls them to the sea and beyond. Ms. Eldridge is a gifted storyteller with the ability that the literary world describes in high praise as being 'able to spin a yarn.' Erin's accompanying songs and verses are evident in the Alvarado descendants, and are well placed throughout the novel. The Siren Sea is a marvelously written story that was hard to put down as the pages were rapidly turning. I was entertained on all levels. Brava!

Lit Amri

“The song of the sea flows from a deep heart, pulsing with a spirit that can never be broken.” After the deaths of their parents, Tomas Alvarado and his younger siblings are cared by their Abuela Magdalena, a no-nonsense but kind grandmother matriarch, offering them familial salvation. As he reaches the age of 16, Tomas joins the Spanish navy, and becomes embroiled in the Anglo-Spanish War. When their armada is forced to flee north into more dangerous stormy waters on the long way home, Tomas is shipwrecked near the west coast of Ireland and rescued by Nuala Ryan, an Irish maiden with whom he falls in love. Their story spans over centuries where the sea continues to shape one’s destiny.

The Siren Sea by Erin Eldridge is a story of tragedy, family, war, faith, hardships, and love. To be frank, Part One-Tomas and Nuala’s story-is the one that resonated with me the most. The tragedy that struck Tomas’s family is a sad read, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know his grandmother and the way she expertly guided him toward his naval career with the help of her friend, Captain de la Fuente. His time with the Ryans is even more interesting to read; his attempts to communicate, repay their kindness, and defend his love for Nuala are engrossing and emotional at the same time.

That said, the rest makes for grand tales on their own. In Part Two, Jamie and Meggie Kennedy are a husband and wife enduring the Great Famine with the support of their relatives, and Part Three is an immigration story of 18-year-old Mary Kennedy to New Zealand. Her journey across the sea to the new world partly echoes her Spaniard ancestor’s own seafaring experience as the story comes full circle with an excellent epilogue. Narrated with sublime prose, Eldridge’s The Siren Sea is an engaging, evocative read filled with memorable characters.