09-14-2012 09:23 PM
I read these books a few years ago, I think there were 3 of them but I can't remember what they were called.
I do remember that the author was a man and he died before completing the series.
They were set on an island where only men were allowed to use a mirror to shave so young girls played a looking game where their friend described what they looked like. The women wore their hair in plaits and were only allowed to wear it down on their wedding day. All of the men learnt to swim because they went fishing for a living but the girls/women were not allowed to swim and the main character taught herself to swim by tying her plait to something so she wouldn't float away. Something happened that caused her to swim off and then she clung to a log and was rescued by a boat. I think the people on the boat were from a different country so she didn't understand their language. They cut her toenails because they had grown long but her fingers were raw from clinging onto the log. Before she had been at the fishing part of the island but (a few years later?) she went back to a farming part of the island undercover so no one would recognise her but I can't remember why.
I hope you can help me!