Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review - Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon

Title: Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale 
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Year: 2011
Page: 240
Genre: Fiction - Fairy Tale

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
The story of two very different women, one mortal, one mermaid, and the clash between worlds best kept apart... It is a cold day at the end of the world when a young woman, a princess in hiding, looks out across a Northern sea and sees something she could not have seen. It can't be. It looks like a mermaid's tail. And, as she looks more closely, she sees that the mermaid is dragging a drowning sailor in her arms. Because, only hours before, another princess, the daughter of the sea queen, has decided to risk everything and take a look at the world above the sea: the world of mortals. And there she finds a storm, a shipwreck, a sailor, and sets in train events which will change both women's worlds forever.

First Sentence:
It was a gloomy, overcast day, like all days were, when the princess first saw them.

My Thoughts:
  •  I read the author's first book, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story, last year (see my review here) and enjoyed it - the execution could have been improved as parts of it were just too long and slow, but the surprising twist at the end was very satisfying (yes I still remember - it definitely had staying power). So when I read on All About {n}'s blog that the author had a new book coming out (see her review here), I knew I had to read it.
  • You know, I never knew that the Disney version of Little Mermaid was different! I had only read the original version (in Chinese) when I was a child, and had never watched the Disney movie, so there was only one ending that I knew of, and this book was closer to that version than that of the Disney version. 
  • I hardly remembered the details of the original Mermaid story (just the gist of it) so while reading this book, I had a hard time distinguishing what was a re-tell of the original story, and what was the author's new take of it. Because of my own expectation, I kept waiting for a brilliant twist to come along, but it never really arrived for me. It definitely didn't have as much of an impact as the first book. I thought there might be more "magical realism" in the story but it fell short.
  • The characters also seemed a bit flat and too cliche, and that people just magically fell in love without much relationship development (maybe this was the magic?) I noted that I wished it would expand on Sybil more since she seemed to be the most interesting character - except now, four months later, I don't remember who Sybil is anymore...
  • The cover is very pretty and I love the contrast between the blue-green background and the copper hair. BUT, I thought the main character had white blond "moon" hair?
  • If the author has a new book published, I'd probably still read it. But I hope it has a more memorable twist. 

Overall Rating:

2.5 Stars. Liked the first book better.

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.


  1. I didn't realise there was another movie other than the Disney one, you taught me something tonight.

  2. @Marce - I think there is only one movie (the Disney one) but it the ending differs from the original story (the ending is here if you want to find out what happens - I never even know that the Little Mermaid had a name because in the Chinese translation, she was just called "The Mermaid Princess".