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Ingo cover.jpg
Author Helen Dunmore
Cover artist Getty Images
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Ingo
Subject(s) Mermaids and Mermen
Genre(s) Children's Novel
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication date 5 September 2005
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 328 pp
ISBN 0007204876
OCLC Number 63134578
Followed by The Tide Knot

Ingo is a children's novel by English writer Helen Dunmore, published in 2005 and the first of the Ingo tetralogy (followed by The Tide Knot, The Deep and The Crossing of Ingo).

Plot summary

In a flashback, the heroine Sapphire remembers her lost father, Mathew Trewhella, who disappeared one night at sea and never came back. Sapphire is haunted by his disappearance. Many people say he ran away with another woman, or has died, but Sapphire and her older brother Conor refuse to believe so and secretly promise to never stop looking for him.

Then one day, Conor also disappears. Fearing that the same thing that happened to her father has happened to Conor, Sapphire sets out to look for him. She finds him speaking to a mysterious girl in the water at the nearby cove, and waits until the girl suddenly disappears. When asked about the girl, Conor behaves as if she were never there, and seems shocked that hours have passed since he went for a "quick" swim.

The next day, Conor leaves again for the cove after their mother has left for work. Searching for him at the cove, Sapphire hears a beautiful voice singing a familiar song that her father had sung to her in the past. While listening, Sapphire encounters a Mer boy called Faro. Faro has a seals tail instead of a fish tail.

I still can't get the word out. It's not like the scaly fishtail you see in a kid's book.    
"A seal," I whisper.

He takes her through the skin of Air and into the world of Ingo. After an amazing time, Sapphire leaves Ingo only to realize that she has been there all day.

As time goes by, Sapphire is affected more and more by Ingo, craving salt and the call of the sea. Ingo calls to Sapphire more strongly than it does to Conor. Her brother, worried Sapphire will "disappear," takes her to the wise Granny Carne, who imparts her knowledge about Sapphire and Connor's Mer inheritance.

Roger, a diver and a new "friend" of Sapphire's mother, plans to go diving near the Bawns. Sapphire learns that this is were the Mer go to die and Ingo is deeply hostile to anyone who goes there and that all of Ingo is prepared to defend what is held there. She and Connor do their best to save Roger and his diving mate Gray from the fierce seal guardians that protect that area. Conor is able to hear the seals song that they sing to the dying Mer, so he sings their song and makes them calm down. Sapphire and Conor, with Faro and Elviras help, they Roger and Gary back into the boat.

but what story will they come up with to explain why they were so far out to sea?

External links



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