What is SKIN about?
With a name like Ocean, you’d think moving to Prince Edward Island would be simple. But since she crossed that huge bridge to the land of red sand, Ocean’s life has been far from normal—it’s been downright dangerous. Trouble seems to follow her, and she’s got the bruises to prove it.
And then there’s her mysterious neighbour, Sam...who seems to know more about her history than she does herself. When Ocean finally steps into the salty waves with Sam, she realizes that her life has been based on a lie, and that she is missing something...something she never knew existed.
WANT TO SEE?
How about an excerpt?
I’ve seen it before, but I can’t remember. I was a baby when my parents were here last. But wow. It’s…real. Just the sight of it makes my skin feel tight and my webbed toes curl.
Frank parks, and I jump out of the van like it’s on fire. I look at mom to see if she’s remembering—thinking of Dad and the happiness that they shared here but she’s gathering her things and talking to Frank about lawyers’ appointments and keys. It’s as if she doesn’t want to look, like she’s purposefully avoiding the view. I feel a rush of anger at her pointed lack of interest. Couldn’t she just look at it and remember? At least pretend like she cares?
Whatever. Mom has her own issues and she can deal with them herself. With just a few deep breaths of fresh salty air, I feel human for the first time since I was unceremoniously told we were leaving the city. I shrug and turn away from Mom and Frank and my zig-zagging little brother to drink in the view of the rolling waves and shining beauty. It’s so…huge. There is nothing beyond the horizon but more water. No islands, no boats, no other shore across a bridge… no anything.
I need to run, so I yell that I’ll be right back and then sprint for the dunes while they sort out less important things like keys and payment. The sand flies and I actually laugh out loud as I cover the hundred or so yards of beach blankets and umbrellas to the edge of the water, where I stop—two feet above the dark line of wet sand—and take a deep breath that would make any yoga master proud.
My name is Ocean.
I’ve always loved my name. The ‘shuh’ sound in the middle, the way it looks on the page and the pictures it creates in your mind. You’d think with a name like Ocean, I would practically live at the beach. But until now, standing here with my feet on the red Prince Edward Island sand, I’ve never really seen it. I’ve never looked out to nothing but seemingly infinite waves and sky. Miles and miles of liquid life.
I slowly notice that it’s crowded here in front of the resort, and I recognize the sounds of whining kids and laughing teens beyond the wind. There are too many people building castles and getting sunburned for me to really experience the waves as they slide across the sand. So I stop short...I hold myself back from my overwhelming urge to run and throw myself into the water. The need to jump in is almost a physical feeling, a drawing, pulling feeling—like a Neptunian tractor-beam, but I ignore the pull. I’m not ready yet, I guess. I turn back to the resort and drag my webbed toes through the sand as I walk up the path. And then I follow my mother—who still hasn’t looked—into our rental cottage, shutting the whispering waves out with the slam of the screen door.