"Cheryl Kaye Tardif's Whale Song is as haunting as it is lyrical. For those who have a soft spot for coming of age and young adult stories, it is reminiscent of Madeleine L'Engle's Ring of Endless Light with its nautical images and the journey of a young girl. And yet Whale Song also holds together on the adult level and reminds me of Anna Quindlen's gripping novel, One True Thing. Both comparisons are high praise.
Whale Song is that of Sarah Richardson, a young girl who has had too much happen in her pre-teen and teen years. Moving from Wyoming to Vancouver Island is only the beginning of this young girl's journey. She thinks losing her best friend is the worst life can offer, but she quickly makes new friends, encounters killer whales and gains wisdom and insight from Nana, a spiritual Nootka Indian grandmother who will impact her life from the day she meets her and continue her guiding hand on the girl's life. We all need a grandmother like Nana.
And then, all that Sarah loves and believes is torn from her. The love of her family, the forlorn song of the whales and Indian folklore is needed to sustain her through a family tragedy that brings in tow accusations of murder, assisted suicide and what she can't remember that takes the reader headlong into a tumultuous climax and deeply satisfying ending.
Tardif is a consummate storyteller. She's up there with Jodi Picoult and Sue Monk Kidd in her ability to bring a character to life on the page. You can see her sitting on a beach in the dark around a campfire weaving a yarn--and all her readers are gathered in that circle holding onto every word. I believe Tardif is in for a long and satisfying career because she seems to know intuitively how to satisfy the human spirit."
--Kody C. Amick, Amazon.com reviewer
(printed with permission)
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