Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon
First published by Three Rivers Press in 2011 (this edition by Headline Review in 2011)

Description (from Goodreads)
While in hiding at a remote convent, a king's daughter sees a magical being dragging a shipwrecked man to the shore. The creature is a mermaid princess - the youngest daughter of the Sea Queen - but she shares more with her human counterpart than her royal blood. By saving a young man's life, both women have sacrificed their hearts. In one moment, the lives of the princesses, mortal and mermaid, are transformed forever.

My thoughts
Mermaid is - as mentioned on the back cover - a re-invention of The Little Mermaid, a fairy tale that was written in 1837 by Hans Christian Andersen, a Dutch poet and author. So essentially, the plot follows the same path that the original story follows, with some additions here and there, which differentiate the story from the original and make it unique (despite the fact that the same story has been told before).

In this re-telling, we get to see the story unfold from the point of view of both princesses - the mermaid and the mortal. Each one gets her own fair share of chapters, so we experience the story as both the mermaid and the mortal princess. We get to understand what motives each one of them has for acting the way she does and that is very interesting to know; especially because of the fact that in the original fairy tale we do not get to hear the voice of the mortal princess.

The story is a sad one, because as it builds up you start to see the inevitability of certain events. For me, it was a little worse, because I've read The Little Mermaid a thousand times (ok, maybe not a thousand, but you know what I mean) and I knew what was going to happen. But Carolyn Turgeon added lots of new elements to the story, elements which I did not expect to be there, and which gave the story a completely different "air" and made me want to keep reading it to find out what exactly was going to happen next.

All in all, Mermaid a really good re-telling of a classic fairy tale and one that is definitely worth reading. Carolyn Turgeon is an excellent storyteller and knows how to make even a well-known story interesting again, by adding just the right details to turn it into a story of her own. I will be looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

Rating: 8/10

Carolyn Turgeon is an American author. Other than Mermaid, which is her latest book, she has written another two novels: Rain Village and Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story. Godmother has been optioned for film and Mermaid is being adapted into one as we speak. Carolyn Turgeon has her first middle-grade book, The Last Full Moon, coming out in January 2012.

You can find out more about Carolyn Turgeon and her books from her WEBSITE (with the amazingly pretty graphics)!

Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011

1 comment:

  1. I see this one around a lot in shops but I've never picked it up before. I've not read The Little Mermaid before but I do have a collection of Anderson's fairy tales so I'll try to read it before Jackson Pearce's Fathomless, a retelling of the fairy tale. Mermaid sounds like a good read though :D


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