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Ayza, Swanshurst School

Beyond the Bright Sea

Beyond The Bright Sea is an intriguing book by Lauren Wolk about Crow(the 12 year old female protagonist) and her journey to find her identity, while bringing a criminal to justice.

Although the book is based in the early 20th century, it still manages to be relevant to today's events due to how the author delves into the idea of racism and isolation of a minority, because they don't fit your idealism of the societal norm. Furthermore, Wolk openly criticises the human brain on page 10, "I found it odd how the same people who followed these unwritten rules sometimes ignored the ones spelled out in their sacred pages". In my opinion, this is a reference to how humanity often chooses to disregard what they don't approve of; not for any reason except pride. In all religious texts, you are supposed to treat everyone equally, however, the islanders choose to disregard this and are wary of Crow, in spite of her obvious intellect. Despite her varied mistreatment being because of the fear of her having leprosy, there is no denying the racism present on the island- which is a direct representation of human behaviour throughout history.

Another thing I found interesting in the book was how everything concerning Crow happened to revolve around the sea. Although, it is understandable because she has spent her whole life by the sea, I feel as though it reveals connotations of her name. Crow's actual name is "Morgan", which means "bright sea" and many people believe that a name has the power to shape a person's personality and reveals several things about them. It is also clear from very early in the book that Crow does have an inkling- embedded however deep inside of her- that her real name is intertwined with the sea, "The dream that woke me, wondering anew about my name, was full of stars and whales blowing and the lyrics of the sea." Crow's name(Morgan) personifies not only her relationship with the sea, but also her deep-rooted innocence, due to how only 10% of the world's oceans have been explored, meaning that there are still places beneath the waves that are untainted, and have hence retained their innocence. In addition, the former quotation on page 4 combined with "Mermaid purses" on page 10 further enunciates how being on an island, away from most of humanity has helped retain her child-like nature and protected her from the ugly truth of the brutal world.

One thing that I wish was expanded on in the book would be the story of Mr. Kendall and why he feels as though he is entitled to Crow's treasure, a leper's treasure, "It's mine, and I'll have it! I'll have what's mine!" This quotation can be found on page 242 and it was the one part of the book that really sparked an interest in me, because it immediately seemed odd to me how Mr. Kendall started claiming a treasure that couldn't possibly be his. At one point, I even thought that Mr. Kendall was Crow's long-lost brother.

In conclusion, I did thoroughly enjoy this book and would recommend it to everyone. Moreover, I also hope that the author will consider writing a sequel or spin-off that delves into the story of Crow's actual brother, Osh, Miss. Maggie and Mr. Kendall.

Posted on: 16th April 2018 at 08:29 pm

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