So Love Returns
LENNY, A despondent widower, lives on the California coast with his two young children. Poor, lonely, and grieving his dead wife Trina, he futilely tries to be both mother and father to his kids, when a mysterious woman, KATHLEEN, comes out of the sea and saves his boy from drowning. Lenny falls in love with her, and despite the hints that Kathleen is a ‘Mermaid’ from another dimension, her presence gives him and his kids comfort. As Lenny and Kathleen’s relationship deepens, they attend a wedding of Lenny’s close friends, when Kathleen becomes upset by the substitute minister and his adjuration. She disappears and shortly after, Lenny finds the sermon which the minister did not give in its entirety—“These Beings are indeed sendings, for they are sent to the Beloved to take the place of one gone from his side. But being not of Mortal Flesh, for them to love as a mortal is forbidden; and such taking place, they must find themselves recalled into the Klement from which they came.” Kathleen heartbreakingly goes back to the sea, since their forbidden love cannot be, but she is comforted knowing that her dearest Lenny has learned to love again.
“Robert Nathan has created a particular kind of literary product for a particular audience. In a sense, judging his work is like judging a master rifleman’s. When ready, aim, fire has been said, he hits his mark.”
New York Times