A Twist on the Classic Tale

Book - 2011
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A surprising take on Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale, Mermaid is the story of two women with everything to lose.

Princess Margrethe has been hidden away while her kingdom is at war. One gloomy, windswept morning as she stands in a convent garden overlooking the icy sea, she witnesses a miracle: a glittering mermaid emerging from the waves, a nearly drowned man in her arms. By the time Margrethe reaches the shore, the mermaid has disappeared into the sea. As Margrethe nurses the handsome stranger back to health, she learns that not only is he a prince, he is also the son of her father's greatest rival. Sure that the mermaid brought this man to her for a reason, Margrethe devises a plan to bring peace to her kingdom.

Meanwhile, the mermaid princess Lenia longs to return to the human man she carried to safety. She is willing to trade her home, her voice, and even her health for legs and the chance to win his heart....

Beautifully written and compulsively readable, Mermaid will make you think twice about the fairytale you heard as a child, keeping you in suspense until the very last page.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Paperbacks, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307589972
Characteristics: 244 p. ; 21 cm.


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Jul 09, 2018

I agree with the poster who said she/he was embarrassed that they read the whole book - I am, too. The writing was not bad but extremely repetitive - how many times did Princess Margrethe remember the moment on the beach when the mermaid saved the prince? Like, I sincerely should've counted, because I felt they flashed back to that scene a ridiculous amount. The story follows the fairy tale so closely I didn't really understand the purpose of this book... like, I should've just read the fairy tale? I guess I feel like I was tricked into reading this Christian romance book when really I'm just interested in mermaids. Ah well, my search for a well-written, intelligent mermaid novel continues.

Sep 17, 2017

what a fantastic story. :)

Apr 02, 2017

I am not a young person, but I loved this tale. What I would like to see is a sequel. There were questions left unanswered. What happened to Lenia after she returned to her mermaid kingdom? She'd broken a cardinal law by affiliating with humans. Yet how could her grandmother exile her own granddaughter, as she had Sybil, who had done the same thing? What about Lenia's human daughter? Did Lenia ever yearn, and try, to see her again? Such issues could form the basis for a complete new tale, digging deeper into the repercussions of human (and merpeoples') actions, nature, and natural compassion.

Jul 17, 2015

i know its good

Jun 12, 2014

Admit it, it's obnoxious how the Little Mermaid gives up everything for a boy she's seen once. Carolyn Turgeon expands on why the mermaid loves him and the human world and it almost makes sense! Beautiful descriptions of the undersea world.

Sep 25, 2013

I really enjoyed that this story sticks to the original version of "The Little Mermaid," and not the Disney version. It was neat that the author included the point of view from the young girl that found the prince on the beach, which gives the reader more empathy by putting them in both girls' places - seeing the story from the mermaid's point of view AND the human princess's point of view.

All in all, a GREAT story! I truly loved it.

Jun 06, 2013

This was a really unique and interesting retelling of The Little Mermaid. I liked that it kept a bittersweet ending, while softening Hans Christian Anderson's ending (which I admit I've never really liked). I really felt for both the mermaid and the princess, which is kind of unusual in The Little Mermaid!

Mar 25, 2013

Excellent story! It was everything I always wanted the little mermaid story to be and more. A light read but definitly fun. Loved it!

mamiuno Dec 15, 2012

lukz lik a gud read.........

Oct 02, 2012

Interesting read; I never really thought of the princess or the sea witch in that way. Confusing at parts--for example, what was Agnes' story? Was she really Sybil in disguise? And if she was, how come Lenia couldn't 'sense' her like Sybil said all humans could? Did that mean Lenia wasn't completely human until she and Christopher got married? I need more on this! I like how this book sticks with the ORIGINAL story, not the rainbows-and-butterflies Disney version, with its own bit of a twist at the end. Very good.

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soadorable01 Jan 02, 2014

soadorable01 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Sep 25, 2013

jurban1983 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 06, 2011

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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AnneDromeda Apr 03, 2011

<p>If you're a girl who grew up in the 80s and 90s, brace yourself. Chances are, you loved Disney's <i>The Little Mermaid</i> growing up. If you did, you were likely disappointed when you picked up the original tale and discovered the mermaid dies and the Prince is a fickle toad of a man. So, what if I told you that there's just been a book released that tells the story better than both the versions you know?</p>

</p>Of all who've approached folktales and myths, only Carolyn Turgeon, Neil Gaiman and Angela Carter can really sustain the visceral, archetypal force of the oral tales in their new, print versions. Turgeon is in fine form, here.</p>

<p>The mermaid Lenia has come of age, and wants more than anything to experience the world of humans. But, on her visit to the surface, she witnesses a terrible shipwreck. Struck by the beauty of one of the victims, she decides to save him. Unable to live on land and obligated to return to her people, she leaves the Prince in the care of a woman at a convent on a cold, northern shore. Fascinated by the lore of the soul and the warm fragility of human life, Lenia is captivated by the man she leaves behind, and falls in love.</p>

<p>This is where Turgeon's tale diverges, and becomes something more richly alchemical within the imagination than previous versions. The woman at the convent turns out to be Margrethe, the daughter of the warlike Northern King. The Prince is the son of the rival Southern King. Margrethe, of course, only realizes this after she has fallen in love. With the two kingdoms poised to enter a war that could finish them both, Margrethe hatches a plan to marry the Prince and unite the kingdoms. Meanwhile, Lenia has taken the potion that split her tail, and has reunited with the Prince. But, she must convince him to marry her, or she will die a death of pure oblivion - without her family, and without having obtained a soul.</p>

<p>Turgeon's chapters focus alternately on each woman, and the reader can hardly decide for whom to cheer before the next chapter forces her to change sides. Turgeon deftly weaves the simple awe of the natural world into the magic of folktales so that they become seamless, and the folktale's domain expands. By the end, the reader is so ensnared in the plot and atmosphere that the twist ending's catharsis is devoured in one gulp. This is where Turgeon's real skill lies - her nuanced understanding of pace and archetype force us to process written words in the same part of us as spoken words and imagination have always met in myth. Readers who enjoy fast-paced gothic romances will love <i>Mermaid</i>, as will fans of fractured fairy tales and myths. And those of you who've craved a grown-up version of Ariel's story will find something grittier and more surreal than you'd dare hope.</p>


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