Namako: sea cucumber : a novel

Front Cover
Coffee House Press, 1998 - Fiction - 256 pages
6 Reviews
The sea cucumber seems to be a changeling, not quite animal, not quite vegetable. Namako: Sea Cucumber is a novel about Ellen, a 10-year-old Asian American girl, no longer a child, not quite a teenager, finding her way through a world of spirits and ancestors, ghost stories and secrets.

Leaving the United States, Ellen and her family travel to Japan to care for a sick grandmother Ellen has never met. In truth, the move is an effort to save her parents' marriage after Ellen discovers her father's affair. Once in Tokyo, Ellen is sent to stay with and learn from her seemingly disapproving grandmother. When her father buys a house in northern rural Japan, Ellen and her grandmother join the family. While there, Ellen's life changes rapidly -- she discovers a talent for art, gains a best friend, and grows to love her grandmother. Honoring a last request, Ellen and her mother journey with her grandmother to their ancestral home. There, finally, Ellen begins to integrate her family's history with her own future.

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Review: Namako: Sea Cucumber

User Review  - Terri - Goodreads

Beautiful imagery. Each chapter was like an individual story, but they all tied together. I felt that the ending was a bit rushed, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Read full review

Review: Namako: Sea Cucumber

User Review  - Serafina Sands - Goodreads

Readable, but not memorable. I did not miss the characters when it ended, or wonder what happened to them. I just read the synopsis on Goodreads, and it sounds so enticing -- not realized int eh novel, alas. Read full review

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About the author (1998)

McFerrin won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction