“The wings of the Ulysses Butterfly are iridescent blue-green when fully open and extended…”
A baby is born with eyes as blue as the wings of the Ulysses butterfly, and is named Lyssa in its honor by her father. After his tragic, sudden death, Lyssa will grow up in the shadow of the butterfly her father loved so much, putting together the pieces of her family through memories, book annotations, and the photographs her mother has hidden away.
An intelligent child, Lyssa observes others and steals small, insignificant objects. She observes her mother, how she tells stories about her father and seems to keep certain stories to herself. She observes her peers, noting those that are watching her and noticing things as she does. And she steals from her best friend, Mallory, her classmates, and her teachers. As Lyssa grows into a young adult, she is challenged with making relationships last in a world where only objects seem to have permanence. When her mind begins to crumble under the weight of her own thoughts, Lyssa will have to learn to let go of her family’s past so that she can forge her own future.
Told in vignettes spanning the first twenty-seven years of a young woman’s life, Goodbye to the Ocean explores family, grief, and identity.
WINNER OF THE 2022 ETCHINGS PRESS NOVELLA PRIZE