Monday, May 21, 2012

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

Three Rivers Press (March 1, 2011) 256 pages

My Rating: 4/5 stars (at one point, it was going to be a 2 star, just so you know)

My Thoughts:

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).


There are 3 sexual scenes throughout Mermaid. They are pretty mild. I've seen WAY worse, but they're still there and more than 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!


  1. Huh! INTRIGUING! I think I would ultimately take a pass, seeing that I know that there are sexual scenes in it. Which is too bad. But otherwise it sounds really interesting.

  2. I'll pass on this one too. I think I might have the same issues you did.