book cover of Ten Kids, Two Lovebirds, and a Singing Mermaid
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Ten Kids, Two Lovebirds, and a Singing Mermaid

(The first book in the Deauville Street Families series)
A novel by

From the bestselling author of Julia’s Chocolates and Henry’s Sisters, comes a humorous, hopeful novel about two broken families. Set in Huntington Beach, California in 1979, the O’Briens and Rossis become next door neighbors and life is never the same again.

July 2019

Jesse O’Brien receives the phone call she never wanted and never expected. Her frightened sister, Joyce, tells her, “She’s missing.”

June 1979

On the day Jesse’s mother’s marriage fell apart, her face was slathered in snow-white cold cream, everything but her mouth and small circles around her eyes covered. She wore a plastic cap to dye a few gray hairs snaking through her thick brown waves and a pink polyester housedress.

Annie O’Brien, usually calm and cheerful, is livid as her husband tells her he’s leaving her and their five children for a woman who looks like Barbie.

Stunned, Jesse follows her furious parents outside as her father loads his suitcases into his Alfa Romeo and her mother loads a pie into her hand and heaves it at her father then waters his face with a hose.

When the dust settles, the Alfa Romeo roaring down the street, the cold cream now mixed with cherry pie filling, the shattered O’Brien family meets the Rossi family who have just moved in next door: Tommy, a Vietnam vet who looks like a motorcycle gang leader; his sister, Liliana, who believes she’s a mermaid; and Tommy’s five kids. They are mildly surprised at the family drama, but eager to get to know their exciting new neighbors.

Five kids plus five kids equals ten, and the adventures begin with an ending no one saw coming.

Inspired by Cathy Lamb’s childhood,
Ten Kids, Two Lovebirds, and a Singing Mermaid is a funny, sweet story about life changing pies and Slip ‘N Slides, swearing parrots and sunny days, and mending aching hearts…together.

Genre: General Fiction

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