ñ Read ô Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon ☆ Sooo a weird supernatural pregnancy and just over allwtf did I just read I m not sure what I expected but I don t think that was it Also it was too short I think, could have done withfleshing out I haven t read the original Hans Little Mermaid though i ve just seen the Disney one and that s been awhile Also wrapped uptoo neatly.
which is all i ll say for spoilers.
3 stars It was very readable, I enjoyed a lot of it and it was is a fast read but sadly it just fell flat in too many areas and missed some marks Full Review on my book blog Here.
Go and you will see that nothing is as wonderful as our dreams can make itLovely retelling of Hans Christian Andersen sThe Little MermaidI liked this storythan the original story It s sweeter and less cruel At first I didn t care for the Princess POV, I just wanted to read about the Mermaid duh But later on, the Princess POV became also interesting and contributed to the story of the Mermaid.
Two words come to mind after reading Carolyn Turgeon s Mermaid A Twist on the Classic Tale missed opportunity Turgeon proved in 2009 s Godmother, a loose retelling of the Cinderella fairytale, that she can craft a well designed and modern story in the magical realism genre Mermaid was her chance to address the shortcomings of her previous book, like a tendency to write flat characters or oversimplify a love story What s , Mermaid was an opportunity to modernize a fairy tale for adult readers and bring a fresh and relevant perspective to arguably outdated themes Sadly, she fails on both levels and her latest book disappoints and frustrates.
Mermaid follows its inspiration, Hans Christian Andersen s The Little Mermaid, closely so closely, in fact, that the need for Turgeon s rewrite becomes uncertain As in the original story, a young Mermaid sacrifices her voice, family, and life in the underwater kingdom for a chance to win a human prince s love and gain a soul As an allegory, Andersen s The Little Mermaid can be studied as a story of self sacrifice and suffering required for spiritual immortality Andersen s Mermaid ultimately surrenders her life to save that of her beloved, and in turn gains spiritual transcendence Turgeon only briefly touches upon these themes, instead devoting the bulk of her novel to a trite love triangle.
The few attempts to include spiritual undertones come off as fragmented afterthoughts Titular Mermaid Lenia offhandedly comments that a human soul, a web of light inside of her, would allow her to live forever, rather than the 300 years of a Mermaid s life The author leaves unexplored any deeper understanding of what it means to have a soul or why only humans possess them The otherwise simplistic story would have benefitted from diving deeper into this theme or abandoning it altogether to concentrate solely on the love story.
Here is where Turgeon herself tragically fails She attempts to craft a poignant story of love, friendship, and sacrifice that only succeeds in sounding dated and marginally offensive Turgeon introduces a foil for Lenia in the character of Margrethe, a princess from Prince Christopher s rival kingdom Two women plus one man naturally results in a clich d love triangle, and Turgeon doesn t help with her lazy character development and lackluster plot.
Both Lenia and Margrethe are primarily defined by their overwhelming and perplexing love for Christopher, not to mention their tedious bellyaching over how to win his affection They are such stock characters that their individual voices are almost indistinguishable For modern, adult readers to accept the sacrifices both women make in the name of love, they must be able to relate to that love, but Prince Christopher is a cardboard cutout of a character, lacking any personality whatsoever Simply describing his warrior build or eyes the color of a dying weed how romantic doesn t make him worth the cost of such suffering Lenia bases her love on a single encounter with Christopher when he is near death Her Mermaid sister provides a voice of reason You only think this because the man was not conscious You only saw a man who was weak, and so you thought you might love him You are an adult now, too old for this fantasy To which Lenia affirms, I do love him, and repeats her blind desire for a soul which, it must be noted, can only be granted by a man.
Presumably, Turgeon recognizes that her readers may feel the same skepticism as Lenia s sister She fails to adequately address this concern, however, and expects readers to believe in the fantasy that a handsome stranger is worth losing one s voice, enduring a lifetime of physical pain, and forsaking one s family Such a sentiment can hardly go unquestioned in the twenty first century Not only does this archaic stance prevent readers from investing in and relating to the story, it offends There are Disney princesses withbackbone and common sense than this character Turgeon ignored the opportunities to reshape Lenia into an enlightened, inspiring heroine and to make the book relevant for today s readers Did she believe the concept of romance would transcend the rather destructive message that pain and self sacrifice are forgiven in the name of love For any self respecting reader, that s just not enough.
Margrethe is no better She, too, becomes infatuated with the prince after two fleeting encounters, which Turgeon portrays through overused platitudes She walked to the window, threw it open, stared out at the snow and the stars Wondered if he was staring at the same stars right then Thinking of her Once Margrethe discovers that Christopher hails from the rival kingdom, she convinces herself that a marriage between them will end all war Even when the prince rejects her, Margrethe tightens her grasp until the prince reluctantly concedes Knowing the prince doesn t love her, she fancies herself a martyr and thinks, This is not about her happiness but about the good of the kingdom, and If only she could make her heart understand that its own wants did not matter Margrethe s fragility and feeble personality only alienates her from readers.
To be fair, the story takes place in an unspecified past where such a mindset could be expected Turgeon keeps the setting vague, alluding to the late middle ages through the characters vernacular and style of dress Instead of challenging the implications of bygone beliefs, Turgeon succumbs to stereotypes that are no longer convincing Old fashioned gender roles, a pass fairy tale setting, and a wearisome plot combine for a tiresome reading experience Why did Turgeon abandon the quirky, contemporary style she fashioned in Godmother Mermaid lacks the sweetly wistful charm of which she is capable and adds nothing new or provocative to the classic tale.
for purely sentimental reasons When I was small there was a Japanese anime version of The Little Mermaid that would occasionally play on tv channel 41 WDRB on Sunday afternoon This became my first exposure to a movie princess there was no Disney VHS when I was a child I fell in love with Prince Christopher along with the Mermaid in the story Little did I know that not too much younger than I had been, my daughter would do the same thing with a Prince Eric This story is timeless and guarantees to touch every little girl s heart This author did an excellent job of now reaching ouradult ones I could read this again and again and feel the anguish, cry the tears, stare in awe, celebrate and turn to foam I loved it 3 23 18 audio reread 312018 book for all seasons challenge desert island read2018 Reading Challenge takes place at seaI am SUCH a sucker for a fairy tale.
All kinds of spoilers up in here There are two protagonists in this book The princess is hiding out in a nunnery because of vague threats from the southern country The Mermaid is obsessed with the surface Both fall in instalove with the prince within a few hours of meeting him, to the point where both are willing to give up everything they have to be with him This is obnoxious in and of itself, butso because the two of them didn t really spend any time with him, and the reader hardly knows him at all He has a brief conversation with the princess in which he is kind of bantery and flirty and almost kisses her by a horse for no reason they only spoke once The Mermaid doesn t speak to him at all She falls in love with him because of the way he feels in her arms and because he s really pretty or something I guess Throughout the book, the Mermaid and the princess havechemistry with each other than they ever did with the prince now that would have actually been a twist on the classic tale The book is told like a fairytale, with a lot of grandiose writing that is very aware it is TELLING A STORY, like all fairytales do, so it didn t bother me that this wasn t a beautiful work of writing It was, however, really annoying how the author used hyperbole to express feelings a pain worse than any she had felt in her entire life or a love unlike anything she had ever experienced swept over her There is also no character depth to speak of It s hard to care about a love story between characters who don t have much to their personalities And let s talk about this love story The princess falls for him in this silly childish way, but sees marrying him as a reasonable way to unite their two countries I can get behind that, and actually liked the blend of swoon only boy who ever touched me must be my one true love and the mature reasoning that went behind her decision to marry him It was a great way to show that she was becoming a woman but still a little girl However, while she does decide to marry him based on uniting their countries, she spends so much of the book moaning about how he doesn t love her, and how she thought their time together meant something it lasted all of 5 minutes stretched across two days ok The Mermaid, on the other hand, gives up her voice and her family and her natural body to be with him This is just a fact in the original story and in the disney film I was hoping this author would do something interesting with it, though, since this is a twist on the classic tale but no It follows the original tale like a script.
The Mermaid wants to be with him a becuase she looooves him, and b because she believes that when you get married, your souls become ONE, and since she has no soul only humans have souls , marrying him will mean getting an immortal soul This whole situation caused the author to write the most cringe worthy omg someone wrote this in 2013 and meant it sincerely line I ve seen in my entire life She was just a vessel to hold him Yikes Instead of being romantic, their entire relationship comes off as creepy From the instant they meet, he s groping at her, and when she doesn t object, he s like you re not like most girls are you all starry eyed with wonder over the fact that she actually WANTS to have sex TRUE LOVE So they do They have sex The sex scene is creepy and typical and old fashioned It hurts her She bleeds She feels guilty afterwards even though there has been NO WORLDBUILDING to explain why a Mermaid would have any guilt over premarital sex and the rest of the characters make noises at her about not making it too easy for men or else they ll never love you Uuuugghhhh.
Their relationship is incredibly creepy In the words of the prince You are so beautiful and yet you have no tongue You are like a dream creature sent here just for me I can say anything to you and you just look at me Ah yes, so romantic A woman who just looks at you instead of talking A woman who really really wants sex with you How did he get so LUCKY DAt the end of the book, her sisters show up with the knife and say she has to plunge it into her prince s heart or else she ll die You know the drill But here is where it just gets absolutely ridiculous On cue, the Mermaid says she can t kill her truest love and decides to die instead k But then the princess stabs herself in the thigh, shouting about how since she married the prince, his blood is my blood and dribbles her blood onto the Mermaid, thus turning her back to her original form and saving the day Um Okay So the Mermaid s entire I can t kill him thing is absolutely absurd if the spell can be broken by cutting open his leg Why didn t she just do that in the first place Why did we need this whole ending scene Plus it s just very weird how religious this book was Talk about sanctity of marriage The princess and the prince were not in love but because they went through a ceremony, her blood is magically also his blood That s making a lot of claims about the power of the religious ceremony, and means that everything the Mermaid believed about souls and stuff was actually true and not just her beliefs It feels weird and uncomfortable.
Strictly speaking, based on writing and characters and plot, this would have been a two star book But it s 2013 and this is a novel where two women have absolutely no interests or character or personality or anything except their love for a man, and they give up absolutely everything literally to be with him, when he isn t all that interested in either one Ugh One star.

This was a book I picked up as a result of browsing though other people s reviews and as I love the stories of Hans Christian Andersen I thought i would give it a go Note to selfdelete youraccount or move to a bigger house This book arrived yesterday and I read it last night It took the original story and fleshed it out with back story of the three main characters Sometimes this engorging with detail can cause adopted stories to flag but here I think it works quite well The personalities are not particularly well drawn but atmospheres and backgrounds are well painted.
There is a simple device of moving back and forth chapter by chapter from the earthbound princess to the watery one and this serves to make powerful descriptive differences in a sometimes quite humourous way I loved the rather gross way Lenia, the Mermaid, gets rid of the taste of something foul from her mouth by simply snacking, as she glides along, from the smorgasbord of options swimming past her The story itself is well known but Turgeon I did wonder whether this was a stage name in its rhyming opportunity but maybe I am being too obscure succeeds in re telling and re moulding the whole thing so as to make it move swiftly and yet uncertainly The storyline is clear, the reader thinks, but the author throws in enough new details, i won t call them red herring for obvious reasons, that you are not sure of the outcome until the very end.
Having said that, I did find the ending a trifle underwhelming I think it is because I like my fairy stories extreme with no compromise Either, happy ever after or leaving me sobbing on the couch This did neither so that is why, though I enjoyed it, it only ranks as a 3 I went through many stages of love hate while reading Mermaid It s an awesome example of why you should always finish a book I don t always, by the way It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the writing style, but once I did, I found it to be quite lovely in a gothic sort of way Then, I got so angry at the middle that I was tempted to stop reading and maybe throw it against the wall By the end, the story redeemed itself.
If I wasn t halfway familiar with the original version of The Little Mermaid , I imagine my opinion of Mermaid would be very different It s not that I overly liked the story either of them The fact that Turgeon stayed so true to the original, though, I do like what she did with it, with a few exceptions The original is not like the Disney version It s very dark and sad Turgeon did take different twists and turns, and again, I won t say I liked all of them, but it s still a beautiful story.
If you re determined not to like Mermaid, there s plenty that you ll find to dislike about it The prince, for one He s a sex crazed JERK, and although he did redeem himself a tiny bit by the end of the story, I still didn t like him It s not about the prince, though Not at all He plays an important part of the plot, but the story is mostly about the princess, Margrethe and the Mermaid, Lenia The chapters actually alternate between the two of them.
There s lots of spiritual talk, but I didn t really like it in the form it was portrayed Souls are mentioned a good bit, along with God It s an in general type of spirituality, as in all humans have a soul that automatically goes to Heaven when the body dies no matter what.
If you re looking for a happily ever after fairy tale, with a knight in shining armor , don t pick up this one It s dark and sad and just plain gross at times It s also beautiful and heartbreaking.
Overall, I liked it, considering the story it was based on Not everything, but most of it.
Content There are 3 sexual scenes throughout Mermaid They are pretty mild I ve seen WAY worse, but they re still there andthan I m comfortable with I especially felt that one of them was completely uncalled for Due to the plot, one of them was somewhat necessary Nothing happened until past page 100 The first scene was so completely out of nowhere that I was left in shock.
There s no profanity at all, which I greatly appreciate DNF, pg 50 some because I don t want to bother I don t like the story I don t like the repetitive, dreamy prose I don t like the continual burbling about souls I don t like the Mermaid s yearning for patently, blatantly imperfect surface bound life just to offer a fairytale lesson about the grass being greener being careful what you wish for So why force myself to finish it shrug Good question And I m not gonna PThis is one of those books where you look at your younger self ask what was I thinkingBecause I don t like Mermaids except the Disney classic D , retold fairy tales, or soppy moralistic lit fic so why did I even have this on my shelf Beats me I must ve picked it up with some YA years years ago Oh well On to better things.
I am very close to this author and think this might be the best book ever written.
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 KingdomMeanwhile, 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 HeartA Surprising Take On The Classic Tale, Mermaid Is The Story Of Two Women With Everything To Lose It Will Make You Think Twice About The Fairy Tale You Heard As A Child, Keeping You In Suspense Until The Very Last Page