A tale of kindred spirits of the oceans

24 January 2020 - 15:09
'She Down There' is as lyrical as it is exhilarating.
'She Down There' is as lyrical as it is exhilarating.
Image: Supplied

She is Half-Away Woman. Her name is her destiny: half-woman, half-sea creature. Down with the octopus she dives. She swims out beyond the waves with the sea lions and the orcas. She rolls with the sea otters in the kelp. She rests in the inter-tidal – that place which is half-sea, half-land.

When the winter storms break, she shelters on the reefs, deep below the thrashing waves, with the rock fish and the wolf eel. She sees all in the sea. She feels all. The sea has always been in Claire Lutrísque’s blood.

Descended from Canada’s native Haida people, she is hurled by tragedy on a southward path, to the warm waters of Mozambique, where she joins the fight to safeguard the region’s coral reefs.

Navy diver Klaas Afrikaner first swam into these same waters on a covert military mission. Seven years later, he is languishing as a dive master in the sleepy coastal town of Tofo. But the shark fin trade is threatening the only thing that keeps him going. So he, too, must rise to his calling.

A shared love of the ocean and a deep desire to protect it brings these kindred spirits together.

Steeped in the myths of the sea, Lynton Francois Burger’s novel is as lyrical as it is exhilarating. Part ecological thriller, part tender love story, She Down There is a timely song to the world’s oceans and the creatures living in them.