I read this little gem at least six months ago. I remember it pretty well considering all the books between here and there, but if I dole out any misinformation here…well, time is my excuse! Today’s review is The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble.
First off, the cover of this is pretty cool and really fits the story. I should also mention that this book was written in one month. November is National Novel month (I promise, I’m not making this up. I plan on participating this year…and should probably warn my poor, unsuspecting husband). The goal is to write a novel in one month. I’m not sure if that counts edits and all that jazz, but I’m still impressed that Noble did this. Very impressed.
In one word I would describe this book as whimsical. I think that charming doesn’t give it enough credit (there’s a lot of hidden—and not so hidden—depth here). The story is about three orphans who undertake on a journey to the sea to save the one who discovers she’s a mermaid and pretty much becomes helpless. Of course, there are all kinds of problems, but mostly a group of traveling performers and their evil troupe leader.
For being shorter (about 225 pages), it takes a while before the journey begins. We get a lot of backstory and learn about some of the secondary characters, but I was ready for more! I loved the whole physical journey, but also the mental journey. The main character has to learn the balance between sacrificing her feelings to spare others and standing up for what she wants, to not be afraid of who (or what) she is, and how to overcome false perceptions. For me, the development of the characters was the strongest part of this book.
The story is exciting, but I got to the end and realized the characters didn’t do anything great to escape and fulfill their physical journey…they just got lucky. However, they did learn from their experiences, so I still felt some sort of fulfillment. I would definitely take a look at this one. The writing is beautiful and the layering of fairy-tale morals is really well done. Nobel has a new book out and it is on my very long list! I hope you enjoy this one. Happy reading, my friends!