Ingo

May 29, 2009
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Ingo is the first fiction novel in the three part series written by Helen Dunmore; published by Harper Collins in 2006. The book revolves around siblings, Sapphire and Connor who live in a cottage in Cornwall. Their day to day life consists of swimming and playing together in the nearby cove, until their dad, Mathew Trewhella, suddenly disappears.
Sapphy knows her dad is not dead, even though the Coast Guard has found the remains of the Peggy Cove, his beloved boat. The sea was flat the day he disappeared, and her dad has been handling boats his whole life.
The townsfolk have their own opinion of what happened to him. Some say he found another woman. Some say he followed in the steps of the last Mathew Trewhella, who fell in love with a Mer creature. Sapphy doesn’t believe any of them.
Years pass, and Sapphy still doesn’t believe that her dad is never going to come back. Then one day, Sapphy realizes that Conor, her older brother, has been missing for a few hours, and figures he is down by the cove. When she reaches the familiar beach, she spots Conor way out by the rocks. She knows he can’t swim that far, but there is no boat in sight. She then sees a girl with long hair that reminds her of seaweed, in what looks like a wetsuit. She thinks nothing of it, until she meets a boy behind the rocks. His name is Faro, and as she gets nearer to him, she realizes that it is not a wetsuit he is wearing.
This is where most of the action in the book begins. Faro brings her into Ingo, what Air creatures call the sea. It has its own language and its own way of life. Sapphy loves it. But what Faro tells her is that Mer and Air cannot mix, and they are enemies. Sapphy is only allowed in due to a very special reason.
When Sapphy gets back to land, Conor is waiting by the mouth of the cove. Conor tells her that she has been gone 24 hours, and that Ingo time is not the same as Air time. Sapphy is frazzled, and her eyes are wild. Her hair looks like seaweed, and she craves salt water. Connor fears for her wellbeing. At night Ingo calls for her in the language of the Mer, and Sapphy finds she can understand it. She is scared, and is drawn to her window, ready to satisfy her craving for Ingo. All of a sudden, a big owl comes by and swoops by her window. Sadie, Jack’s dog, starts barking madly, and Sapphire finds that she can move away from the window. Earth Magic saves her from Mer Magic, although what does Earth Magic save her from?
While the book is left unfinished, readers know that at one point Sapphy must choose between the magical world of Ingo, or the safe and familiarity of Air.
I read the book eagerly, letting Helen Dunmore’s words envelop me into the imaginary world of Ingo. I really believed that there were such things as Mer people, talking starfish and a border that can not be broken between Land and Sea. Dunmore’s writing style is very soothing, and the pages flow by without the reader noticing the passing chapters. It is gracefully written, and the last words haunt you long after you have finished the book. The reader is left with many questions, but thankfully there are two more novels that follow.
Ingo is a memorable book, a great read for all ages and genders. Everyone can relate to Ingo, because no matter how old you are, there will always be roads that beckon to you. Some courses can completely alter your life, while some might make just a small impact. But it is up to you to choose the course for your life. Like that old saying.
Ingo was a great read, full of lavish and rich description and tons of suspense. I rate this book 5 stars out of 5, and can’t wait to read the other two in the trilogy!





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HayWire This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 8, 2009 at 4:55 am
i absolutely looooove that book. thanks for the review!!
 
Gabrielle O. replied...
Dec. 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm
thanks for the comment! I loved this book too.
 
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