Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mermaid” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  4,723 Ratings  ·  709 Reviews
Princess Margrethe has been hidden away while her kingdom is at war. One gloomy, windswept morning, as she stands in a convent garden overlooking the icy sea, she witnesses a miracle: a glittering mermaid emerging from the waves, a nearly drowned man in her arms. By the time Margrethe reaches the shore, the mermaid has disappeared into the sea. As Margrethe nurses the hand ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Crown Publishing Group (first published March 1st 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mermaid, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mermaid

Entwined by Heather DixonWither by Lauren DeStefanoUnearthly by Cynthia HandAcross the Universe by Beth RevisDarkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
Beautiful Book Covers of 2011
42nd out of 721 books — 4,411 voters
Of Poseidon by Anna BanksForgive My Fins by Tera Lynn ChildsTempest Rising by Tracy DeebsEverblue by Brenda PandosRipple by Mandy Hubbard
YA Mermaid Novels
15th out of 158 books — 766 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
The Holy Terror
What could have been a poignant retelling of "The Little Mermaid" turned into a sappy mess with a lot of unfinished ideas. The beginning was gripping and fantastically told, the middle desperately grasped at sensuality and tragedy, while the ending deflated and fell flat. I was left feeling disappointed and cheated by this story.

Even if you're not familiar with the original Hans Christian Andersen tale, you've probably seen Disney's "The Little Mermaid." I thought at first that this would be li
Jan 28, 2011 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I am very close to this author and think this might be the best book ever written.

Jul 03, 2016 Dominique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantics and mermaid-lovers
Shelves: e-reader, 2016, ya
Go and you will see that nothing is as wonderful as our dreams can make it.

: Lovely retelling of Hans Christian Andersens The Little Mermaid . I liked this story more than the original story. Its sweeter and less cruel. At first I didnt care for the Princess POV, I just wanted to read about the mermaid (duh). But later on, the Princess POV became also interesting and contributed to the story of the mermaid.

Mar 02, 2011 Jessica rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Two words come to mind after reading Carolyn Turgeon’s Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale: missed opportunity. Turgeon proved in 2009’s Godmother, a loose retelling of the Cinderella fairytale, that she can craft a well-designed and modern story in the magical realism genre. Mermaid was her chance to address the shortcomings of her previous book, like a tendency to write flat characters or oversimplify a love story. What’s more, Mermaid was an opportunity to modernize a fairy tale for adult re ...more
Nov 10, 2011 Mark rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who sing in the bath
Recommended to Mark by: a goodreads review I chanced on
This was a book I picked up as a result of browsing though other people's reviews and as I love the stories of Hans Christian Andersen I thought i would give it a go. (Note to self...delete your amazon account or move to a bigger house ). This book arrived yesterday and I read it last night. It took the original story and fleshed it out with back story of the three main characters. Sometimes this engorging with detail can cause adopted stories to flag but here I think it works quite well. The pe ...more
Bluerose's  Heart
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

Em 1848, Hans Christian Andersen dava voz a uma das histórias mais amadas de sempre e em 1989, a Disney transformava-a num dos filmes mais apaixonantes da sua história. Sujeito a várias adaptações de todo o género ao longo do tempo, a história da Pequena Sereia voltou a ganhar vida em 2011 pelas mãos de uma escritora americana, Carolyn Turgeon que conseguiu relembrar o público da história de Andersen e mostrar que este conto pode ser belo mesmo sem músicas
Jul 05, 2011 Amelia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an avid reader of the classics, it is impressive to find how close this was to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale. Obviously, there are some alterations to this latest “twist,” so don’t be expecting the exact fairy tale. The same gruesome cutting of the tongue for the mermaid’s payment is still there, but that’s an obvious necessity to the plot that could only have been downplayed by Disney (no offense to the movie – I still love the cartoon!).

There are some softer points to Turgeon’s version tha
Brandon Witt
Sep 27, 2011 Brandon Witt rated it really liked it
I've been obsessed with The Little Mermaid for as long as I can remember. First, the story by Hans Christian Anderson, then the cartoon based on his story, then Disney's version. I love them all.
When I saw The Mermaid on the shelf in the store, I didn't think twice--I bought it. Then, I was nervous. It would be such and easy thing to mess up the story and give me a bitter taste in my mouth about my favorite story--Like the Broadway musical did (ugh). It was also highly probable that it would si
Jul 06, 2011 Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I initially read about this book on "Entertainment Weekly", with the announcement that it was going to be made into a movie. I was immediately intrigued by the fact that it was based much more closely on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale than the *ahem* other mermaid stories out there currently. In other words, there are no talking animal sidekicks or murderous French chefs, and the sea witch actually ISN’T evil.

Lenia is the daughter of the Sea King, and has just turned 18. It’s a mermaid tra
May 12, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2011
I am not going to review this on my blog, so I'll jot down some thoughts here.

I got this book from the library and decided to read it for no other reason than it was about mermaids and I haven't read enough books with mermaids in them.

Anyway, Mermaid was a retelling of The Little Mermaid. The writing was good, but not good enough to redeem the awkward plot, two-dimensional characters, uncomfortable dialogue and half-built world. Mermaid, on the whole, is shockingly slow moving for such a short
S.K. Munt

*This review contains spoilers*

5 stars as a mermaid story, 3 for reading experience.

Okay This is a TOUGH review to write.As a quick summary, this is a re-telling of The Little Mermaid (the original) but instead of being told from the perspective of the mermaid alone, you get half of the POV from the human princess who is trying to marry the object of the mermaid's affection instead.

In so many ways this book was absolutely mesmerising. I thought that the author's style really suited the era an
Bonnie (A Backwards Story)
One of my favorite fairy tales has always been The Little Mermaid. Mermaids fascinate me; I’ve been writing stories about them since elementary school. With this tale, while I’m obsessed with the sugary Disney version I grew up with, I also love the original story. It’s so sad and tears my heart apart. The mermaid goes through absolute hell in order to be with the man she loves and in the end, it still isn’t enough. Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon deals with the Hans Christian Anderson version of TLM ...more
Elphaba J
Acho fantástica a capacidade que algumas histórias têm de saltar do nosso imaginário pueril e nos atingirem na maturidade com a mesma intensidade de outrora, de um outrora em que desconhecíamos os desígnios da paixão, de um outrora em que ser-se sereia era um sonho quase tangível de alcançar.

É entre o vento frio das terras altas norte e o murmurar selvagem das ondas do mar que conhecemos as três personagens principais desta história que reavivarão as memórias da nossa infância, não com uma mas,
Apr 08, 2011 Nely rated it really liked it
As a big fan of 'Disney's The Little Mermaid' and having read Ms. Turgeon's Godmother a few years back, I knew that I could not go without reading this dark and gothic retelling.

Obviously Hans Christian Andersen's tale of The Little Mermaid is the back bone of this story, but sadly I've never read his version so I can't do any comparisons to his work. What I can tell you is that this is the story of two sheltered princesses. One princess resides on the land while the other lives "under the sea"
Mar 30, 2012 Johanna rated it it was amazing
by Carolyn Turgeon

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Fantasy | Historic

Two princesses (one earthbound, one aquatic) vie for the heart of a prince in this new twist on the classic fairy tale.

For 18-year-old mermaid princess Lenia, the world of men could not be a more exotic or fascinating place. Although her experience with humans is limited to the shipwrecks and dead sailors she comes across in her ocean-floor kingdom, she yearns for more. She gets her wish when she is finally permitted to go up
Jun 27, 2011 Caroline rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of mermaids and fairy tales
Turgeon's interpretation of the original Little Mermaid is an entertaining, interesting read. At its best, it is intriguing and original, in that it delves not only into the perspective of the mermaid, but her rival, the princess. However, as entertaining as the book can be, and at times, even a little touching, it falls short of being really good with typical pitfalls.

Again, the exploration of Margrethe's--the princess whom the mermaid's beloved prince is supposed to wed--perspective is origina
Andersen’s The Little Mermaid is about love and sacrifice. The little mermaid falls in love with a man she cannot have, gives up everything to be with him, and is rejected in favor of a human girl, and as a result dies and is turned to sea foam. It’s a story about sacrificing everything and getting nothing in return, of wishing you could give up everything if only something would turn out your way. Of wanting what you know you cannot have, hoping against all hope. And this is what Turgeon really ...more
The first half of this was a stronger book than the second half, IMO.

I was very pleased with how in-tune Turgeon was with HCA's Christian themes in the first half - and she managed to incorporate his themes without turning it into an explicitly Christian novel.

But somehow, once Lenia became human, her longing for a soul got lost amongst the love triangle. The love triangle is absolutely necessary for this book - don't misunderstand me - but in the first half it's clear she loves the idea of a so
May 04, 2011 Aimee rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I have many fond memories of watching Disney's The Little Mermaid with my daughter when she was little. It was her favorite movie. When I saw this retelling of the mermaid tale I was intrigued and ended up pleasantly surprised. First of all, this was a short, light read. I finished it in two days easy. The story revolves around the mermaid Lenia who longs to be human and falls in love with a prince that she saves in a storm at sea. The other part of this love triange is Margrethe, a princess fro ...more
May 10, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Unlike Disney, Turgeon stays relatively close to the original, which let me just say is dark and depressing as all get-out. If you can spare (if that) an hour, read it if you haven't already.

She does, true to promise, deliver a bit of a twist. Not really in the sense that it switches between the princess from the convent and the mermaid, but rather in what happens towards the ending. Taking the land-bound princess's angle was in a sense predictable, since the story was a love-triangle from the
Apr 04, 2013 Alexa rated it liked it
I picked up this book with fond memories of retold fairytales I'd read in the past and loved. I really hoped this book would fit into that category. It did not.

First of all, there was way too much God in this book. I don't usually have an issue with religion in literature (though I can't say many of the books I read contain much in the way of serious religion), but this felt so forced. The princess was hiding in a convent, the mermaid was moved by the sight of the cross, she wanted to be connect
EZRead eBookstore
Mar 15, 2011 EZRead eBookstore rated it really liked it
Shelves: amelia-reviews
As an avid reader of the classics, it is impressive to find how close this was to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale. Obviously, there are some alterations to this latest “twist,” so don’t be expecting the exact fairy tale. The same gruesome cutting of the tongue for the mermaid’s payment is still there, but that’s an obvious necessity to the plot that could only have been downplayed by Disney (no offense to the movie – I still love the cartoon!).

There are some softer points to Turgeon’s version th
Edward's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
2.5 stars
The thing that bugs me the most about fairy tales is the insta love and the fact that the characters aren't given much depth.This book was hardly an exception.

We have the human princess who was sent to a convent because of the threat of attack on the North from the South. After the mermaid princess brings the Southern prince to the convent they both fall in love with him. Everything was almost identical to the original The Little Mermaid story except for maybe the ending (view spoiler
Apr 11, 2011 Angie rated it it was ok
I'll be honest in saying that when I initially picked up this book it was because I had $20 of a Groupon I had purchased that I had to spend and I wasn't sure what to expect.

The twist on the tale is something I enjoyed, however the characters were very two dimensional with very little development. However, despite that I could relate on some level to the princess who felt she was destined for more and the the mermaid who longed for a world different from her own.

Things you should be aware of pri
This is an absolutely gorgeous retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale. I couldn't put it down. "The Little Mermaid" is one of those fairy tales that I've always thought could never be retold in a satisfying way because the original is so perfect the way it is. But Carolyn Turgeon has done it and succeeded. The main thrust of her novel is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the original story, the main twist being her exploration of the character of the rival princess who eventually ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Michaela rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, novels
I really liked this book up to halfway through. Then I was really shocked that the author included some of the stuff she did.
Spoilers Ahead
For example, many (seriously, there were a lot!) sex scenes were included. She didn't go into detail, but it was so completely unnecessary. Following this, of course the mermaid had to get pregnant with the prince's baby, and of course, they couldn't be married. There was just so many sex scenes in this book that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It could h
I'm really giving it 3.5 stars. I didn't fall in love with it but I didn't loathe it either.i didn't particularly like Mergrethe character sheet was whiny, stupid and jealous. Lenia character was just lost all together. However the writing style was sparkling and in many ways elegant like I said in pervious review. The story of a princess and a sea princess (a mermaid) it's not like any other mermaid tell I've read this will have been my first little mermaid retelling I have yet to read the orig ...more
Claudia (Another Bennet)
A good retelling of The Little Mermaid! It was the first book I ever read about this theme and it didn't disappoint me but at the same time it didn't make a huge impression.
It was a bit slow in the beginning but then things started picking up; I enjoyed the ending!
Made me want to re-watch The Little Mermaid :)
Keri Duncan
Sep 05, 2016 Keri Duncan rated it it was amazing
This is a really great grown up version of the Little Mermaid. It goes back and forth between the princess and the mermaid. About half way through the book I was really worried that it wouldn't end well but it all worked out which made me happy. Recommended to anyone who enjoys fairy-tales.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Mermaid, by Carolyn Turgeon 2 12 May 14, 2016 02:48PM  
Fantasy Romance: BOTM OCT 17 9 Oct 29, 2015 06:03PM  
Más libros para Latinoamérica!! 1 4 Jul 22, 2015 08:43AM  
Fantasy Romance: December Group Read 25 9 Dec 30, 2013 01:46PM  
Who do you think would be suitable actors for the characters in This Book? 4 27 Oct 05, 2012 07:59AM  
  • The Mermaid's Pendant
  • The Secret of the Emerald Sea
  • In Great Waters
  • The Last Mermaid
  • Fins
  • Forbidden Sea (Forbidden Sea, #1)
  • May (Daughters of the Sea, #2)
  • The Mermaid's Mirror
  • Siren's Storm (Siren's Storm, #1)
  • Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid (Once Upon A Time, #4)
  • Seven Tears Into the Sea
  • Sirena
  • Between the Sea and Sky
  • Merrow
  • Siren's Call (Dark Tides #1)
  • Lost Voices (Lost Voices, #1)
  • Tangled Tides (The Sea Monster Memoirs, #1)
  • Selina Penaluna
Carolyn Turgeon is the author of five novels: Rain Village (2006), Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (2009), Mermaid (2011), which is being developed for film by Sony Pictures, the middle-grade The Next Full Moon (2012), and her latest, The Fairest of Them All (2013). She edits Faerie Magazine and teaches fiction writing at the University of Alaska at Anchorage's Low-Residency MFA program.

More about Carolyn Turgeon...

Share This Book

“there are people all over the world who carry the mermaid inside them, that otherworldly beauty and longing and desire that made her reach for heaven when she lived in the darkness of the sea.” 20 likes
“Souls were webs of light that contained the essence of a human's life. Memories and loves, children and families. Every moment of life, pressing in” 14 likes
More quotes…