Dear Helen Dunmore,
It stood out from all the others. The story of the Mer. As soon as it was in my hands, my mind tingled with excitement. I'm always looking for a book. Always asking for advice. Always searching. I was staring at my older sister's bookshelf and reading book titles: Understood Betsy... A Wrinkle in Time... Ingo. "Ingo." I whispered the name out loud. Taking it off the shelf sneakily, I started reading. "I wish I was away in Ingo far across the briny sea, sailing over deepest waters... " It overwhelmed my mind.
"Maybe that 's where Dad has gone, sailing over deepest waters. He 's away in Ingo, wherever Ingo is. That's where we’ll find him. If I can just catch one note of his voice, I'll be able to follow it. I'll follow a single thread of his voice, to where Dad is."
How many times have I given up or seen others give up? I believe in hope and determination. I can relate to Sapphire's feelings of doing something about a problem not just sitting, waiting, or giving up. I do admit that I have given up at times and wanted to stop everything. Something always seems to get me started again, though. Maybe it's that one note from that quiet voice.
"The sea's all around me, whispering to me in a voice that ebbs and flows like the tide. I want to follow its voice; I want to wade out into the water, far from everything on land. The sea is pulling at me...
Adventure! That is what this passage yelled at me. I usually read books slowly; I dig into details. For this book, I really dug. I hadn't read anything like it before. Yes, I had read fantasy and all about princesses, elves, and fairies, but this was something completely different. I spent all my free time reading the adventure... I crave adventure. I guess what partly captured me was the writing style and how my mind was caught in the book, like a mouse captured by an owl. I was this book's prey. Once the book had me, it wouldn't let go. I've done some writing myself and after reading Ingo it inspired me to create my own unique stories.
A year after I finished the book, I was still playing the story in my mind. For English we had to write a speech about our favorite book; Ingo was the obvious choice. The next summer I recommended Ingo for my book club. "What's it about?" my friends asked. I answered with eight faces staring at me. "It's something you don't usually read, kind of different, but it's amazing. It's about a girl whose father leaves her to go to the Mer and the sea. She's desperately searching to find him in any way possible."
One of my dreams is to be a Catholic missionary when I grew up. When I was little, nothing could sway my dream. I wanted to change someone by sharing my faith. I was determined to fulfill my dream even if it meant years of studying and years of learning. Sapphire was determined to keep searching for her dad even with people telling her he was dead. She knew he was alive, and she had hope that she could bring him back.
I guess now I can understand that being determined is more than just a feeling or action... it's a purpose.