Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale
Genre: Adult, Fairy Tale
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Synopsis: 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. From Goodreads
Why did I pick it up?: I spent the weekend at the shore and Mermaids are my Summer Reading.
Favorite Line: "The sun was a dull ache behind a veil of gray and silver."
Likes: Mermaid is short, only 240 pages, and familiar, as it is a retelling of the Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. It is a great refresher course on underwater life and the struggle between sea and land that plagues many mermaids.
Rules to Turgeon's take on mermaid mythology are sprinkled throughout the novel, never overwhelming the story, just enough to make me want more details.
Margrethe, the Princess who wants to marry the Prince and unite their kingdoms, is not a villain. I wanted them both to win, which surprised me. I thought, like in the Disney version, the mermaid would be the heroine but both women are protagonists.
It reads like Magical Realism (love) and was great for the beach. It was overcast and colder than I expected on the beach and the first part of the book takes place in the North, where it is freezing. Come to think of it, maybe that added to my own feeling of cold...
Complaints: The cover is misleading. In the novel, the mermaid, Lenia, has hair so blond it is almost white and is frequently referred to as moon-colored. I think the cover is supposed to allude to Ariel, who of course has red hair. I would have liked to read more about Prince Christopher, he comes off as a two dimensional character. His situation is intriguing, but his personality is not shown much. The story is not about him, but I would have liked to know more. I guess that is a sign, she gives the right amount of details on his character.
Recommendation: Read it on the beach!
Next Week: Matched by Ally Condie