I remember really enjoying this book primarily because it is water related. I'm a water baby and love stories with mermaids, sirens, kraken, etc. I find looking back at many of Ms. Tepper's books is that she writes for niche group. Many of them are similar in vein . . . social-economical commentaries mixed in with a secret society of women determined to protect mankind. If you liked her Women's Gate book, this one may be one you enjoy too.
Our protagonist is a much beleaguered noble woman, Genevieve. She is merely a cog in the society. Her place is to marry, give birth and then die. Is this not the human condition? There is little for her to live for and she knows she is missing something. What is it? There is something forbidden about the sea that she is warned away from.
Not to give spoilers, I'm going to stick to same vagueness because one of the charms of Ms. Tepper books is trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Suffice to say, Genevieve curiosity in this instance is what helped her become more. She finds a place in her world, or her "tribe" so to speak of the more "enlightened" beings. These beings are the ones who live in harmony with the world. Conceptually, this is something I love. Ms. Tepper was awoke when it was with good intentions. As with all great conceptions and strategies, the human element is usually what causes downfall. Ms. Tepper consistently shows the selfishness and corruption in the vast majority of people.
Looking back, do we really need 1 saviour to make the difference? Twenty some years later, I realize that it takes more than one person. One person cannot save us. We need the syngery of group of people who all strive for the same. Unfortunately in a world broken up by idealology and divisiveness, I do not see this happening anytime soon.