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An evocative setting, an air of mystery and some intriguing love interests for Miranda, a 16-year-old budding scientist, will make Friedman's (The Year My Sister Got Lucky) novel irresistible to romance fans. It all begins when Miranda's mother inherits a house on the remote Georgia island of Selkie, a place teeming with legends of merfolk and sea beasts. While helping her mother prepare the estate for sale, Miranda is thrown off guard by her discovery of family secrets and the attention she receives from two boys: Southern gentleman T.J., whose father was once engaged to Miranda's mother, and native islander Leo, who seems to carry traits of the mermen Miranda has discovered in an ancient book of island myths. Miranda notices changes both in herself, as she tries to sort out her feelings for her suitors, and in her mother, "the harried surgeon," whose affection for her old beau appears to be rekindled. The effect of the island on the two women is movingly and convincingly drawn, effectively illustrating Einstein's notion that "the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Ages 12-up. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.