ISBN-13: 9780307589972
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Published: March 2011
256 pgs
Source: Personal Library

After reading Carolyn Turgeon's Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story in April last year (my review here) and was mesmerised by her wonderful storytelling skill, I know I wouldn't want to miss reading Mermaid after knowing that she would be writing this new release based on Hans Christian Andersen's original tale.

I am sure many of you have read or heard of the original tale, but what makes this book a little different from Andersen's is it features two narratives - the mermaid princess, Lenia, and Princess Margrethe, who is the daughter of a northern king.

On Lenia's eighteenth birthday, she was given the chance to swim ashore to the upper world. She had wanted to do so ever since she had heard wonderful stories from her elder sisters as they shared with her the tales of the curiosities and wonders that lay above. But what made her trip so different and special from her sisters is that she witnessed a shipwreck and she had fell in love with a handsome man while saving him.

On the other end, Princess Margrethe, who is daughter of the northern king, is hiding in a convent when news broke that the northern and southern kingdom might go to war. While wandering around one day, she found a mermaid with an injured man in her arms. Both women are struck by the sight of each other, but circumstances called so Lenia delivers the man to Princess Margrethe as she thinks she could save him. Meanwhile, Princess Margrethe thinks it must be fate that brings her and this man together. As luck would have it, the man whom they rescued, is the son of the southern king but none of them knew each other's identity.

What unveils this story is the love triangle and aside from the original tale where Lenia requested for a magic potion in exchange for her voice so as to have her tail be split into human legs, Carolyn Turgeon has gone a step further into making this beloved classic more intriguing by adding Princess Margrethe's point of view besides Lenia's though the story is told in the third person throughout the whole book. Turgeon also pushed this story to a climax through Princess Margrethe's dilemma between love and saving her kingdom, and the stakes she and Lenia have to take should they decide on any choice they have to make. What would be the ending? Would there ever be a happy ending this time around? I'm not telling, but I have to say I was once again mesmerised by Turgeon's writing, and felt myself entranced by The Little Mermaid all over again. I don't think I would ever get tired of reading this poignant yet beautiful story over and over again, be it the original or any retelling tales.

As of writing this, I also learnt that Carolyn Turgeon will have a new book out in August titled The Next Full Moon; and I knew it would be another magical, compelling story after reading the synopsis. I can't wait.
6 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    I reads one of her other books and really liked her twist on the fairy tale so I'll have to look for this one. Great cover.

  2. Darlene Says:

    I still haven't read her first book which I have but this one is going on the wishlist too. It sounds like she writes wonderful stories.

  3. Alice Says:

    I will most probably be checking this out, Melody!

  4. Like you I've always loved the story of the Little Mermaid. I still remember seeing the Disney movie in the theater when I was a child! Interesting about Margrethe's story--very curious how that interplays. Glad you enjoyed it, Melody!

  5. Julia Says:

    Sound like this was a magical classic story telling book for you, Melody. Glad to hear that you enjoy it. I hope the next book would be as much joyable than this one :)

  6. Iliana Says:

    I still haven't read her books and I must! This sounds like a wonderful story. Glad to hear you enjoyed it Melody.

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