Deeper than the Sea reviewed by Vivian

Beth is your typical 16 year old teenager. She goes to school and studies hard with the aim of becoming a scientist. She works part time at a local restaurant and often after her shift, Caleb is there to walk her home. She likes Caleb, even if he has a bit of a wild side, and he seems to like her too.

Beth lives with her mum, Theo. It has always been the two of them. Whenever Beth has asked her mum about her adoption, her mum gives few details and seems to quickly change the subject. But suddenly Beth’s world is blown apart and her life quickly spirals out of control.

Theo tries to come to terms with the chaos her life has become. She reflects back on her life, growing up in England in a big, well-off family but never really feeling like she belonged. We learn how she gives up on her studies and follows her love, Oliver, to Australia and helps him to open up his own dream restaurant. We also learn how Beth came to be with Theo and the struggle now to not only keep her but to keep her safe.

Neilka McDonald cleverly questions the idea of maternal love. Can an adoptive mother love a child as much as a biological one? McDonald handles the nature versus nurture debate with much empathy and insightfulness.

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