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The Mermaid's Child

3.07 of 5 stars 3.07  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Growing up motherless in an isolated community, Malin Reed has always been made to feel different from everybody else. The fact that, according to Malin's father, the absent mother was actually a mermaid only makes matters worse. When Malin's father dies, leaving behind nothing but his stories, Malin's choice at last becomes clear: stay, and never feel at home, or leave an...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 3rd 2005 by Arrow (first published 2004)
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Sharon Malcolm
A motherless child grows up unwanted and uneducated in an isolated village on an isolated island, believing her mother is a mermaid. Given away by her grandmother into virtual slavery, she escapes town with a wandering vagabond and embarks on an adventure - of sorts - to find her mother that takes her to some amazing places - not all of them geographical. Admittedly, it was sometimes hard to work out what was really happening in this fantastical piece of imaginative storytelling. However, the pa...more
Katie Kipe
When I began THE MERMAID’S CHILD, I was expecting more mythical legend than adventure. I was pleasantly surprised when Jo Baker’s ‘tale’ journeyed deeper into the voyage Malin embarks on in a desperate pursuit to find acceptance, rather than the typical, cliché mythology. The reader is pulled into dramatic climaxes that must be faced suddenly, with no warning; to such an extent that one begins to question how much longer Malin can endure these sometimes heartbreaking intervals. As Malin struggle...more
Karina Halle
3.5 stars.

I picked this up at the library not knowing a thing about it, but somehow drawn by its small, neat hardcover. The kind you want to pick up with your hands and carry about. I figured, too, since there were references to fantastical elements, that it would have mermaids. Also, it's called the Mermaid's Child. I'm not a big fan of mermaids, as I find them to be cheesy more often than not, so I thought something a bit darker and more adult would be a good way to get into them.

Is this book...more
Emily
jo baker's writing is absolutely deft, powerful but subtle, with really nice flicks of action that slot together on the page beautifully. it's worth reading for the wideness of the world she immerses you into - fantastical without falling all over itself - and for a few little gasps of realisation along the way.

but i did feel that the pace and texture of it was too similar throughout to really propel me to any great heights or to let the lows resonate. also, one thing in the writing i can't qui...more
Millicentlydia
I kept reading until the end, but it didn't capture me at all. It also seemed implausible that a pregnant young woman could so easily pass as a boy.
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Jo Baker was born in Lancashire. She was educated at Oxford and at Queen's University, Belfast, where she completed a PhD on the work of the Anglo-Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen. Her first novel, Offcomer, was published by William Heinemann in 2001. Her second book, The Mermaid's Child, is was published in August 2004. Jo Baker has also written for BBC Radio 4, and her short stories have been includ...more
More about Jo Baker...
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