Synopsis from Penguin Random House:
From the author of Lost Boy comes a beautiful historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea, only to become the star attraction of history’s greatest showman.
Once there was a mermaid called Amelia who could never be content in the sea, a mermaid who longed to know all the world and all its wonders, and so she came to live on land.
Once there was a man called P. T. Barnum, a man who longed to make his fortune by selling the wondrous and miraculous, and there is nothing more miraculous than a real mermaid.
Amelia agrees to play the mermaid for Barnum and walk among men in their world, believing she can leave anytime 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.
About: The Mermaid is a historical mythology written by Christina Henry. It was recently published on 6/19/2018 by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House, paperback, 325 pages. The genres are fantasy, mythology, historical fiction, and mermaids. According to Berkley’s website, “Our expertise in women’s fiction, romance, science fiction/fantasy, and mystery/suspense makes us uniquely suited to introduce a new generation of popular novelists and to reinvigorate the publishing programs for established bestselling authors.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Mermaid on 8/9/2018 and finished it on 8/20/2018 at 2am. This book is a marvelous read! Such a lyrical narrative! I love the clever ways the characters are thinking and knowing. I like following Amelia, Levi, and Barnum’s thought processes. They are clever and brutally honest when they think, but school their faces to calm when they interact with others. This book is not a retelling of the little mermaid, but more of a story on the mermaid and her life before and after 1842 living in the sea and becoming an attraction on land.
This book is told in the third person point of view following a Mermaid named Amelia and a fisherman named Jack. Amelia is curious of the people and the land and Jack loves the sea. One day Jack catches Amelia in a net, though he lets her go, he still hope to see her again. Amelia had heard stories about mermaids becoming human and she tested it out. It works and she finds her way to back Jack. For many years they love each other and grow old together, except that Amelia doesn’t grow old. New York in 1842, there is a man named P.T. Barnum, a collector and a con artist of strange and unusual, who is seeking for something spectacular to display at his museum as a way to earn fame and fortune. An old story about a widow mermaid is then passed onto Barnum and he wanted to seek her out even though he doesn’t believe the mermaid is real. Readers will also follow Levi’s view, a lawyer turned showman for Barnum. His job is to convince people to do things and he’s very good at it. Levi is a fair man who wants equality for all employees, even the ones on displays. Amelia has been living in Northern Maine at the cottage by the sea, long after her husband Jack is gone. With Levi’s invitation, she wants to take the opportunity to see the world, but as soon as she arrives in New York, what she sees is not what she expects.
A well developed book, The Mermaid is a beautifully written story. I like Amelia, strong and independent to deal with such a scoundrel employer. I like her ability to refrain from anger when arguing. I like following her learning curve about understanding people and feelings and whether her decisions she made is right for her. The story spun very well with multiple point of views so readers can have a rounded understanding of each character’s feelings and yearnings. I like the love story. This book give a good glimpse into life in the 1800s. I like the supporting characters with Charity and Caroline. This book is a fantastic read and I highly recommend everyone to read it!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, couldn’t put down, museum, New York, 1800s, mermaid, love
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Christina Henry is the author of The Mermaid, Lost Boy, Alice, Red Queen, and the national bestselling Black Wings series featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle, Beezle. (Photo obtained from Goodreads and info obtained from Penguin’s Website).
More Information about Berkley Publishing
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.