Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Review - "Mermaid" by Carolyn Turgeon

Even if you've never read "The Little Mermaid" by Hans Christian Andersen or seen the Disney cartoon, you might still enjoy Carolyn Turgeon's reworking of the fairy tale. It's a short book at fewer than 300 pages, and it's not dense or filled with symbolism, though you could read into it what you want about beauty, sacrifice, and true love. It's a simple story of two women in love with the same man who make huge personal sacrifices to be with him. This man, a prince, thinks he is in love with a certain woman who he doesn't think he'll ever see again, who rescued him from the sea and nursed him back to health. He meets another woman, a silent, elegant, gentle woman who sacrificed her life as a mermaid to be with him (though he doesn't know that), and would marry her if his father allowed it. Alas, the king has accepted an arrangement on his son's behalf with the princess of the North because such an alliance will united their kingdoms and bring them desperately needed peace. What will the two women do to ensure themselves true love, peace, and everlasting life? What will the prince decide?

I like to think my reading tastes appeal in some fashion to both men and women, though I do include some literary chick lit in my reviews. Most of the fantasy, mystery, and suspense books I review are suitable for either gender. However, Mermaid is probably for women only. It's a sweet romance, written from the perspectives of both the princess of the North and the mermaid. You will find yourself wishing both of them can have their prince, but not until the last section will you find out which one--or maybe both?--gets her happy ending.

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