Mary Underwater


“Mary Underwater” by Shannon Doleski was an incredibly well-written book. This book was such an enjoyment to read as it had a range of diverse emotions such as sadness, humor, love and the spirit of growth and overcoming hardships. The main character, Mary Murphy, has a rough life. Her abusive father is back home from prison and her mother doesn’t seem to give much interest about where Mary goes and what she does. Because the lack of attention for Mary from her parents, over time, Mary develops a close friendship, with the class clown, Kip. Mary develops more feeling towards Kip and turns into more than a best friend. During Mary’s childhood, she had an estranged relationship with her Aunt Betty.  As fate would have it, Mary receives an unexpected phone call from her aunt.  Mary and her Aunt plan to meet so they can get to know each other better and they soon build a strong relationship that carries throughout the story.

Because of a school assignment, Mary becomes determined to build a real life submarine, to get away from her abusive and neglectful situation at home. She faces more constant battles at home with her parents, she learns how to work with Kip, and to look inward at herself to better her life and be her own hero.  Mary overcame the abuse of her father and the carelessness of her mother and “Mary Underwater” delivered with heart wrenching details of what Mary had to endure.

To say I enjoyed reading this book would be an understatement.  It was a pleasure to read this and I felt I really connected with Mary.  I think other young readers would enjoy reading this book because of the life Mary lives. I thought that every chapter left you on a cliffhanger and then you would just have to read the next chapter to see what happens. I know from experience, because  I didn’t end up going to bed until 12:00 in the morning because I was so hooked on what was going to happen next!

First time author Shannon Dolski, wrote a wonderful book. I wonder if this is a story that was inspired by her own life or someone close to her as the details and story line were so real. I would highly recommend you to try her first book and I look forward to more from her.