It has been an absolute pleasure watching my friend and ace writer Meagan Macvie launch her beautiful debut novel into the world. The Ocean in My Ears introduces you to Meri Miller, who is about to graduate from high school in Soldatna, Alaska. Meri wants to get out of town, and she wants so much more.

I’m in awe of Meagan’s writing, which is aching and tender and gut-wrenching and hilarious. If you’ve been to high school, even if it was decades ago, chances are you will wholly relate.

Here’s my little review from Goodreads:

Meagan Macvie’s big heart shines on every page of this thoughtful, generous, observant novel. I am lucky enough to have read an advance copy and glad to have an opportunity to post a brief review and recommendation for others. Full disclosure: I know Meagan and have written alongside her for several years. More disclosure: I went to high school in the Midwest in the 60s. Even though Meri Miller’s story unfolds in Alaska 35 years later, The Ocean In My Ears transported me emotionally and viscerally right back to that time. Meri is unique but her struggles, anxieties and successes are universal – loss and fear, love and understanding. Her story and her circumstances draw you in quickly. She is a flawed and beautiful young woman — kind and self-absorbed, awkward and brave. Meagan skillfully conveys the tumultuous events of Meri’s senior year in a voice that is searching and true. I cared deeply about these characters, including not only Meri but her best girlfriend Charlie, her brother Alex, and her new friend Joaquin. I think you will, too.

But don’t just take my word for it. Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, BookRiot, and Bustle — among other sources — all have great things to say.

Oh, the joy and fun of being at Meagan’s reading last night at Browsers Bookshop in downtown Olympia. It’s one thing to know you have an accomplished friend and colleague, but entirely another to sit in a small but rapt audience in your hometown bookstore listening to her thoughtful and heartfelt remarks, her vibrant reading, and her unbelievably articulate, off the cuff answers to audience questions. I would not have missed it for the world.

You can purchase The Ocean in My Ears at all the usual places, but if you are in the Olympia area, please visit Browsers, or maybe Brilliant Moon over in Shelton. Or check out  your own local bookstore. OK, if you’re in Soldatna, you might have to go online.

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