Mermaid, written by Carolyn Turgeon
Published in 2011 by Broadway Paperbacks
Genre: Romance, fairy tail retelling, fantasy, young adult
Description (From GoodReads.com)
The story of two very different women, one mortal, one mermaid, and the clash between worlds best kept apart… It is a cold day at the end of the world when a young woman, a princess in hiding, looks out across a Northern sea and sees something she could not have seen. It looks…it can’t be. It looks like a mermaid’s tail. And, as she looks more closely, she sees that the mermaid is dragging a drowning sailor in her arms. Because, only hours before, another princess, the daughter of the sea queen, has decided to risk everything and take a look at the world above the sea: the world of mortals. And there she finds a storm, a shipwreck, a sailor, and sets in train events which will change both women’s worlds forever.
My rating: 4/5
The writing in this book is beautiful, not to mention the cover is absolutely gorgeous. It is the story of Princess Margrethe, Lenia, and a mysterious man almost drowned at sea. The point of view changes each chapter and it alternates between Margrethe and Lenia. The descriptions flow very nicely, offer beautiful imagery, and overall the book is a pleasure to read. This would make a great summer book to read on the beach, or any other time when you want something light to read that makes you feel happy.
The characters lack significant development, but they are still fully functional and important for the story. The story is more about the emotions given off by each character and their reactions, rather than personal insight and growth. Some of the names were a bit difficult to pronounce, but it added to that sense of fantasy that I love so much.
I felt this story relied heavily on certain themes which allowed me to ponder them a bit more. True to the original tale of the Little Mermaid and the Disney version, the mermaid character (Lenia) has a great sense of yearning for land. The grass is always greener is an expected feature of the book, but the emphasis on responsibility and selfishness/selflessness was a bit unexpected. There is a spiritual element to this book as well which I found to be quite interesting.
The ending was very satisfying, emotional, and beautiful.