Once again Carolyn Turgeon takes on a classic fairy tale and gives it her own special twist and yank in the Mermaid. Closer to Hans Christian Anderson’s version then Disney’s more recent adaptation and yet it still manages to have an original voice. Turgeon’s writing removes the fairy while presenting a tale and in this case a second tail.
The chapters flip back and forth between the two leads, The Princess and The Mermaid. Each young woman moves the story forward in her voice. While I would think harder for Turgeon to write, it was a gift for the reader. Although, I will admit sometimes I was not ready for the story to flip just yet or I just did not like where the other character was headed.
The description of the mermaid Lenia is just dazzling; this is a book that could have come with illustrations. I especially liked the tactile references to her tail and skin and the glistening imagery from her touch.
A land is divided into two kingdoms, the North and the South. Once they lived peacefully united but no longer, these kingdoms are now sworn enemies. The Princess Margrethe is hidden in a convent by her father the King of the North to secure her safety. While at the convent she is summoned to the water by a mermaid. This encounter ties both of these girls together as it is this day they both lay eyes on Prince Christopher. Instantly, both the princess and the mermaid fall in love with the prince of the Southern lands.
As Margrethe and Lenia return to their respective kingdoms they can think of nothing but their prince. Each with make a sacrifice and turn their backs on what they know to claim the prince for their own. Each will know love and loss. And each will forever be bound to the other.
Mermaid is enchanting and I was sad every time life interrupted this far away tale. I had the same feeling with Turgeon’s first retold fairy tale, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story. While Mermaid followed the original tale more closely, I would not have connected Godmother to Cinderella without the title.
I, for one, cannot help but wonder where Turgeon is headed next, but I know I will follow. Hmmm that gives me an idea to share maybe the Pied Piper of Hamelin is the way to go next C.T.?
Do visit Carolyn Turgeon’s new Mermaid blog it is most entertaining, http://iamamermaid.com/