I chose to read this book more or less as a challenge. I do not like the romance genre, but this book’s description intrigued me. A back and forth in time (I’m a time travel aficionado) along with some serious scuba diving off the coast of Ireland. I’m Irish, what more could I want?
Bottom line, I really enjoyed this read. The story is character driven, with not a lot of sex and heaving bosoms, but a real feeling of love between the four main characters: Margaret O’Donnell and her true love, seaman James Gallagher from the 1850s and Catherine Fitzgerald and Daniel Costello from modern time.
James returns to Margaret from a long voyage, just before her marriage to a truly dislikeable man, Barnaby Athol. They drown at sea on the day of the marriage, supposedly as the result of a curse Barnaby had put on them that day as revenge for being jilted.
A century and a half later, Catherine Fitzgerald, well known underwater photographer, is pulled from her lavender farm in Provence, France by the lure of a deep sea dive on a Spanish treasure boat off the coast of Ireland. The National Geographic wants her to document the find and any treasure recovery because the leader of the dive, Kurt Hennesy, has been linked to scavenging of such finds previously; her documentation will provide the basis for a special, while perhaps keeping Hennesy in line. Catherine is haunted by dreams from a near-death experience on a previous dive, but she convinces herself she needs to get back into the water.
The adventure begins when she buys a very old Claddagh ring, a wedding ring, whom the outdoor market vendor got from a man who found it in a cod caught off the Irish coast. You can see where this is leading! It fits Catherine perfectly, but when she wears the ring to bed, her dreams become more intense, with a breaching sailboat and an old man with a white beard trying to save her. Then she meets Daniel Costello, a member of the crew and a nautical archeologist to whom she is relentlessly drawn. Unfortunately, Daniel is already engaged to an overbearing society woman.
But wait! There’s more! Wonderful descriptions of colorful underwater life to which even this snorkeler could relate, a truly caring and perhaps still interested ex-husband, a daughter Catherine leaves with him while on the dive and worries about losing – perhaps to the ex-husband’s new girlfriend? – visions of a woman in a white dress who appears while Catherine is diving, and a very real elderly man with a white beard she meets while walking about the Irish village where the crew is staying- is he a ghost? Not to mention the growing feeling between Catherine and Daniel, complicated by his engagement, and the stealth of Captain Hennesy.
There was enough tension to keep me reading as fast as I could. I recommend A Cry from the Deep. Give it a look!