Carolyn Turgeon
Crown, 2011

I won this in a Passages to the Past giveaway, and was delighted. The cover is beyond gorgeous, and it's a fairy tale variation. What is there not to love? Mermaid is the story of 'The Little Mermaid' (the Hans Christian Andersen version, not quite Disney's Ariel), but with a bit of  twist. There's the handsome prince. There's the beautiful mermaid princess with the magical, melodious voice. And there's a smart and fetching (human) princess. One stormy night brings all three together in a way that forever changes their lives - and their worlds.

I loved this book. Loved it. It was a very fast read - drawing me in from page one, and sucking me in until the end. The story is told in alternating chapters from the mermaid - Lenia's - and the princess - Margrethe's - points of view. While this makes the chronology a little awkward to follow at times, it makes the story so much stronger - and I will suffer much for the sake of a good story. Getting to see the story unfold from the two very different perspectives creates a richness and depth - it's not a one-sided presentation, you get to see the struggles, the 'drama' if you will. Both princesses are heroines in their own right - each loves the prince and is willing to risk everything for the chance at achieving happiness, the fulfillment of dreams, and love.

Lenia and Margrethe are drawn to each other - and driven away from each other - until united once more. Each is fascinated and enamored with the beauty and exotic mystery of the other's life. They form a relationship that, while not close in the traditional sense of friendship, is strong enough to bridge life and death. Their willingness to lay everything on the line is what keeps the story moving. I wasn't incredibly impressed with the prince - but Lenia and Margrethe? Them, I loved. And the ending caught me wholly by surprised - reading every page faster and faster, wanting to find out exactly what was going to end up playing out - and then sighing with a wistful delight as the conclusion was reached and the story ended.

If you love fairy tales, read this. If you like good stories, read this. If you're totally bored and need a book, read this!

Book provided by my personal library.


  1. That cover is insane gorgeous! Will have to put this on my extremely long TBR list.

  2. I love fairy tales retold, and I haven't found many "Little Mermaid" books...will have to check this one out!