Friday, May 20, 2011

Mellifluous Mermaid

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon
This great twisty tale gets a flashy 4 gnomes out of 5 gnomes.  I love fairy tales and new takes on the classics are always fun to read.  Plus check out the cover of this book, doesn't it just look all mysterious and full of mythical goodness.

The book is told from the point of view of two princesses, one's a human and one's a mermaid.  Margrethe is being hidden at a convent because her father thinks that she's safer there because her country is under the threat of war.  One day a mermaid swims a man to shore and then calls for her help.  The man is taken into the convent to try to recover and Margrethe is left with the strange feeling of actually having seen a mermaid.  This meeting leads to a connection between the three of them and how they see the world.  

Margrethe may seem like the boring one of the protagonists at first but being almost on the edge of the world and meeting a being she thought was only myth starts to change her outlook on life.  Before meeting a mermaid and a handsome stranger she was willing to be the proverbial good princess and always follow orders without asking questions.  After though she starts to think more about the world and how she herself might be able to change it.

Lenia's life under the sea is great to read about.  As you read about the palace under the sea you can easily visualize that world.  Saving the man from drowning seems to shift something inside of Lenia so the mermaid life just might not be enough anymore.

If you've seen The Little Mermaid movie then you know the basics of Lenia's story but this story has some twists on the Disneyfied version.  Let's just say that Lenia's story isn't all singing crustaceans and love at first site but more of an intense trial and eye opening view on how the world really works.

At first I wasn't sure what direction the story was going in and how the two character arcs would collide.  When they do collide it's really magical and the ultimate love triangle.  The ending was so unexpected but did make me actually say, "yes" aloud.  I was all prepared for a horribly depressing ending but it ended up exceeding expectations and  being surprisingly happy.

Overall this is great story that will make you look at this old tale in an entirely new way.  I'm now excited to read Carolyn Turgeon's other books because her character building is grand and I can't wait to see what she does next.


  1. I really loved this book (and am a big fan of one of her other books, Rain Village). Nice to read your thoughts on this one. :)

  2. @Jo, Thanks, yeah this book was a really intriguing read because everyone knows the basic story and seeing how she changes it is really cool.


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