All the Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale
Ladies and gentlemen: get the Kleenex ready!
All the Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale is a roller coaster of emotions that will make you cry tears of joy, and tears of pain.
This story follows Molly Brennan at a very pivotal time in her life. Her daughter, Cassie has just started exhibiting the same special abilities as the rest of the women in Molly’s family. But for Molly’s mother, those special abilities led to her death, and for Molly those special abilities led her to run away from home, burying a heartbreaking secret so deep inside her mind, that she suppressed her abilities for years.
Now, it looks like Cassie’s abilities are leading her down a dangerous path as well.
Cassie has premonitions about the people she’s close to. Every time Cassie finally makes friends, a premonition pops up revealing her friends’ fate. Being the sweet, kindhearted girl that she is, Cassie tries to do whatever she can to change fate, and keep her friends alive.
Like clockwork, Cassie spends five agonizing nights having nightmares about these incidents, feeling not just the emotional pain of the premonitions, but physical pain as well. These are night terrors tenfold.
When Molly can no longer stand by and helplessly watch her daughter suffer, she makes the difficult decision to go home and reconnect with her Nana, the only person who can help Cassie. But little does Molly know that Nana has plans to help her too.
With an unforgettable group of female characters, All the Breaking Waves artfully illustrates the importance of relationships between female friends, mothers and daughters, wise elders and headstrong youth, fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and even first loves. It weaves an enchanted story about human connection and reminds us that the strongest force in a world where one can predict the future, see auras, or communicate telepathically is still love.
Lonsdale’s magical realism is balanced superbly. While the supernatural plays a major role in driving the events of the story, it’s the realistic life events that will truly pull you in. Molly’s life is harrowing, and just when you think she cannot suffer anymore, another tragedy is revealed. While in the beginning of the story I had a bit of a hard time connecting with her, once I understood her trauma, I was practically sobbing.
But, using sea glass as a metaphor, Lonsdale teaches us that even things deemed repellent can be made beautiful again. The mythology surrounding sea glass (as the tears of mermaids crying for their human loves lost at sea) is the perfect tool to physically show Molly gathering up her pain and transforming it into something stunning and valuable. Her talent to craft jewelry out of trash is the same talent she then uses to save her daughter, and herself.
I cannot stress enough how much I loved this book. It did not shy away from revealing the harsher side of real life, and yet the tender side it showed was even more powerful. For less than 400 pages, this book did an incredible job at reminding me that acceptance, forgiveness, and sacrifice are righteous and healing. There were so many times that I wanted to reach into the story to hug Cassie and Phoebe, Molly’s best friend. My heart was overflowing with emotion at each and every turn. Like I said at the start, you will cry, so make sure to keep tissues handy when reading this one.