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Friday, 25 May 2018
Review: The Mermaid
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn't bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.
P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he'd heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.
Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid.
I think The Mermaid might be my favourite of Henry's books so far! I really enjoyed this one, and I had a lot of fun reading it. The opening/first part was brilliant, we had a love story in this little seaside town and it had a very fairy tale feel to the storytelling, with the wording and the lack of dialogue and so on. It really caught my interest and had me paying attention!
After that we head in to the next part of the story, which is set in New York in the 1840's which is quite the contrast in setting to the previous one, as it's you know....a city. So it's busy and bustling. However, Henry still managed to weave in the mythology for the mermaids in such a...non-mythology setting, if you catch my meaning. Despite being a fairy tale retelling, it felt like it was quite plausible, the mythology made sense and I was kind of nodding along like, yep. Totally true. Probably happens every Thursday.
The historical aspects where on point as far as I'm aware, although I don't know much about Barnum. The Barnum of this book was a bit of an a-hole, I'm not going to lie, I really disliked him. I felt for his poor wife Charity, who took Amelia under her wing, and I loved the friendship between the two! I wasn't entirely sure how to feel about Levi at first, I ended up quite liking him, but then at one point I wasn't sure I still did.
I feel like our opinion of Levi changed as Amelia's did. We saw him one way, but then we started to see his real views on things at the same time as Amelia. Amelia, I loved. She isn't afraid of Barnum, and she's not afraid to stand up for herself. She also struggles to understand the things humans do to each other, I liked seeing the world through her eyes.
The Mermaid is a riveting story, that pulls you in and captivates you and has an edge of believability to it! I also particularly liked Henry's vision of a mermaid, it made for a nice change!