He wrote many criticisms on the attitude of the British people during that time, particularly their apathy. In his work Coming Up for Air the reader encounters an individual who struggles with this dilemma. He feels that he is the only one that cares about coming events, but does not really attempt to wake those around him or offer up a solution.
Instead readers see him attempt to reconnect with the past, where for him things were simple and secure before World War I. He is going back not only to reconnect with the past, but at the same time seeking out a way to escape from his concerns with the upcoming war as well as his cold and unhappy marriage.
But to no avail, because he realizes that just as he has changed so has the town that he grew up in.
Many of the people that he knew have died or left and even the girl that he once dated has aged with time, to such a degree that he at first does not recognize her. He goes back only to realize that the reality does not match up with the idealized image that he has constructed. In class this question was posed for us to ponder.
Like a drowning person gasping their first breath of air, Bowling wants to feel and come alive. It is not like normal fairytales. Thank goodness. This book has the perfect combination of feels to keep you invested.
There are laughs as well as some serious things that happen. There is also friendship death and love. Like I said everything to keep you reading coming up for air and then holding your breath. The book starts off on not such a great place for Leigh. He is struggling to live and as his life before his eyes flashed before him, he sees a man. A beautiful man and he kisses him.
Tolly then wakes up at home and not remembering anything else. Along comes his savior in the form of Tolly. Reading about a merman was different. He is fully functioning and has a big heart and he just wants to fit in and be loved. Leigh is not the guy Tolly thinks he is. He works for a not so great man and doubled crossed a man not even better.
He doesn't know who he can trust and his neighborhood loves him. He is what they need and when things are broken Leigh is there to help him out the best he can, form fixing appliances to babysitting. I liked the friendship between Tolly and Leigh and reading about it grow.
There is an attraction from the beginning that I liked. It wasn't instant and it grew. He teaches Tolly and Tolly teaches him. Tolly is on a time limit as well. Can Tolly teach Leigh another way to live life and can Leigh overcome his past and move on to become more with the help of Tolly.
Overall I liked this book and would for sure read more. The book had complex characters and an interesting plot. I was entertained from the first page to the last. I liked that the author changed up the roles of the fairy tale and made the story her own.
Then you have the merfolk. The merfolk have three possible forms.
In their original form, they have razor sharp teeth, long sharp claws, and are deadly fighters who live to drown humans. Then they have their human form complete with human legs which they only get when they share a kiss with a human. The kiss grants the human special abilities also, like the ability to breathe underwater and achieve the human-like merfolk form, although they only get that form if they bond with the merman.
Ancient laws state that if the merman is given a vow of love by the one he kissed, the merman will be able to keep his legs. Tolomeo, aka Tolly, comes from a race of killers—merfolk who drown humans for fun. But Tolly is different. He was raised to be kind to humans and other creatures of the sea. When he sees a human in trouble, he offers a kiss, granting the man the ability to breathe underwater and himself the ability to walk on land, at least until the next full moon.
But somehow he escapes certain death. The last thing he remembers before waking up on the riverbank is a beautiful face and a soft kiss. And the ancient laws state that he has to make the vow out loud to count. What will Tolly do? I loved both Leigh and Tolly. I loved the chemistry between them, and I was completely invested in their feelings and actions.
They even made me cry a couple of times, and I love when that happens because it shows just how invested I have become in their story. Where do I start? Ok, so merfolk. Perfect right?
And this book had everything. Death, hope, love, angst and a lovely ending. For love and happiness and a life well lived. Trying to find a way out of this life of crime is nearly impossible.
It definitely is now that Leigh is on his way down to his death with cement bricks. But out of nowhere, he sees a face and soon is on the beach, alive.
The next day brings a surprise. A beautiful man named Tolly.
The one who saved him. The one he has a bond with now and a secret or two. Surely, mermaids are real, right? But Leigh sees Tolly in the flesh. But Leigh is caught in the middle of some mob wars, and everyone seems to want him dead.