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The Mermaid Collector

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  103 reviews
More than a century ago, lighthouse keeper Linus Harris left his beloved wife and waded into the ocean with three other men to reunite with their mermaid lovers. The mysterious Mermaid Mutiny of 1888 has become legend for the residents of Cradle Harbor, Maine, honored by the town’s Mermaid Festival every August, when wind chimes are hung from seaside porches to drown out t ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by NAL (first published October 1st 2012)
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Lori I just read this and I would say no--this is not YA. None of the characters or situations deal with young adults. It does not seem geared toward that …moreI just read this and I would say no--this is not YA. None of the characters or situations deal with young adults. It does not seem geared toward that audience.(less)

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  544 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
View this review and many more at: 5171 Miles Book Blog.

What could possibly be better for a long, cold weekend than a story about mermaids? Nothing, obviously! The Mermaid Collector was the January book choice in my book club with friends from junior high and high school. Interestingly enough, we’ve all gone our separate ways over the years, but through social media and our love of books, we’ve been able to connect again. This has been a great way to push me out of my comfort zone and read books
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan of books that make me happy. This is one of those. I'm also hopeless about reading the end if I'm not enjoying a book - didn't do that here. It was fun, with just enough twists in the plot to keep the brain busy and I read the book without skipping to the end. At the end of the story, I wanted to have more to read about this lively group of characters.

The Maine setting gave the plot substance and was well-represented.

Have a fun break from all that serious stuff you've been slogging t
Laura Kay Bolin
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Is there a better backdrop for a story than the ocean, beaches, lighthouses and mermaids? I think not! Erika Marks brings to life a story of The Mermaid Mutiny of 1888 to life with Lydia and Linus Harris. Linus is the lighthouse keeper in Cradle Harbor, Maine in 1887. Together they are simply a young couple setting up a home and hoping to start a family. When an unfathomable event occurs---changes everything for this couple and the town.

A century later, t
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the epistolary way this novel unfolded: first with a letter from the 1800s, then a snippet from the coastal Maine town’s history book, “The Mermaid Mutiny and More,” and then an email correspondence hinting at a core conflict in the story.

I was immediately drawn into this novel that seamlessly shifted from the present-day story of Tess and Tom (and Dean, Buzz and Beverly), to the historic story with its mermaid legend belonging to Lydia and Linus.

Marks does a wonderful job of drawing
Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads

Wow The mermaid Collector was a pleasantly delightful read. The read was light, heartwarming, sad, happy and magical. I managed to finish the book in just a day because I couldn't find myself able to put it down.

I love the way the author did the parallel time difference to show the readers were the mermaid legend originated at that town, it flowed smoothly with the current story line. The characters were interesting, the battles that the
Jul 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Nooooo! Please Nooooo! This book seemed to have such a good premise. Old New England town history, mermaids, lighthouses, ocean.... But after reading The Secret History I am completely spoiled for good writing. The writing in this novel is honestly pathetic. For example,

"He came up behind her. Tess guided his arms around her waist and leaned into his chest." or "Tess lifted his hand to her lips, kissing the fingers one by one."

But in the Secret History, (which is not a romance btw),

"She closed h
J.M. Maison
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“My dearest Lydie, By the time you find this letter, I will be returned to the sea…” So starts The Mermaid Collector, a mesmerizing book that alternates between the 1887 story of Lydia, Linus, and Angus and the current day story of Tess and Tom. In a captivating voice, Erika Marks weaves these two stories into a wonderfully rich book complete with an intriguing cast of characters whose histories are all tied to Cradle Harbor, Maine. Adding to the book’s charm is how Marks interlaces each story i ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful story! A story built around a tale of Cradle Harbors lighthouse keeper Linus, his wife Lydia and mermaids. The whole town is still to this day affected in many ways by what is referred to as the Mermaid Mutiny of 1888. The mutiny for Tess is a reminder of the magic of childhood and her mother ; for Tom Grace coming to Cradle harbor is a life changing experience.This book has multiple relationships that are so deftly described you become submerged in this poignant romances, losse ...more
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
A quick easy read, this story brings together a likable set of characters in a Maine beach resort town. The town is getting ready to celebrate a legend from the 1800's in which a lightkeeper and three other men leave their families and run together into the sea to be with the Mermaids they fell in love with.
The story is told from several points of view:

Buzz is an old hippy and owner of a small gathering of resort cottages overlooking the sea. Buzz and his step-daughter, Tess, are each dealing w
Erika Robuck
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Set in the town of Cradle Harbor, Maine, THE MERMAID COLLECTOR takes place during the Mermaid Festival–the annual ritual remembering the Mermaid Mutiny of 1888, when a group of the town’s men were reportedly lured to sea by the mermaid’s call.

Local outsider and sculptor Tess Patterson wins a contest with her mermaid woodcarving and finds unlikely love with a troubled man caring for his difficult brother. In 1888, a barren fisherman’s wife becomes entangled in a painful scandal that threatens her
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’m a sucker for a story that grounds itself in the history of a place, bringing the past to bear on the present. The Mermaid Collector does just that, interweaving the tragic tale of Lydia and Linus more than a century ago with modern day Tess Patterson, a woodcarver commissioned to sculpt a mermaid for the upcoming Mermaid Festival.

Each August, the small, coastal town of Cradle Harbor, Maine, gears up for an extravaganza of all things mermaid in honor of the Mermaid Mutiny legend. I was drawn
Ashley Hasna
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
I think Marks did a really good job of creating the setting, but I had a really hard time getting into her main female character.

Her main male character was easier to believe, but it was one of those stories where the main 2 people only get together because they have to since its a book. That being said, she had another subplot story line running through that book that was amazingly well done. She really did seem to make the world come alive.

Another part I struggled with on the characterization
Kat Clayton
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book just became one of my all time favorites. Great story...loved it.
Chelsey Wolford
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have found such a treasure in a new author and her amazing work of literature! Not to mention she is a local author as well. I cannot convey my enthusiasm about this book, but I am going to try as I put my thoughts into this book review. This book was full of history, love, and even a tad bit of mystery. I enjoyed every single aspect about this book and am so hungry for more. I am going to encourage readers now to go and pick up a copy of this book because I cannot wait until I get to the end ...more
Jo Butler
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Mermaid Festival draws people from all directions to Cradle Harbor, Maine every August. They dash into the ocean and shop for souvenirs, especially the town’s signature wind chimes, which are meant to drown out mermaids’ siren songs. After all, four men, including the lighthouse keeper had vanished in 1888. It is said that they followed their fishy lovers under the sea. Shortly afterward, the anguished keeper’s wife, Lydia, plunged to her death from the lighthouse.

Over a century later, the m
Melanie Coombes
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
What a delightful story. I had just finished a 600 page biography and was definitely in the mood for a more lighthearted, romantic book. The Mermaid Collector was exactly what I was looking for.
The main character, Tess is a hopeless romantic who is still struggling to recover from the death of her mom years earlier.
Tom Grace is the mysterious stranger who has been left the caretaker's lighthouse much to the consternation of the town locals. When these two meet, an unlikely affair begins. Howev
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Before I picked up this book, I was a huge fan of this author already - her first book, Little Gale Gumbo by Erika Marks was amazing - such lovely language and the layers of the stories of three women (two sisters and their mother) had me in awe of the author for the entire time I read the book. THE MERMAID COLLECTOR is no different in the way the characters' stories intertwine and intersect, even including the threads of the tragic story that brought about the legend behind the town's annual mermaid festival. Marks seamle ...more
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Mermaid Collector by Erika Marks

Challenges read for: Goodreads, EBook

Book Cover: Lovely and haunting

It took me three days to slog through 30-something pages at the beginning and I thought--uh oh, this may end up in the "unfinished" pile. But something sparked and I really started to enjoy this book.

Set in a lovely seaside town in Maine with a lighthouse and the keeper's cottage as backdrop, we meet some very damaged people. Alcoholism, suicides, death, loss, but also magic, love, hope and fo
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
Set in Maine, this story moves between the 1880s and present day. Beautiful descriptions of Maine, and the story of Lydia in the lighthouse were the highlights. Unfortunately, the author veered between too much of something, and not enough of something else. For example, the characters who suffer from bipolar disorder and alcoholism are caricatures and one-dimensional. The alcoholic young man has terrible language. The young sculptress is angry and predictable. Characters are either nurturing or ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 Anything set by the seaside in a quaint little town especially somewhere like Maine and I'm in! Throw in an intriguing historical element for the back story that keeps creeping up and I hardly want to put it down. My only problem with "The Mermaid Collector" was that I really didn't connect with Tess Patterson which made the present day story a tad uninteresting to me. I just wanted more of Linus and his wife's story. Overall not a bad read. *** Please note I received this book for free from ...more
Carol N
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a good read! I felt as if I were there in Cradle Harbor experiencing the sand between my toes, salt water on my lips, and the magic of Mermaids in my heart. The author's characters are so likable, and authentic that I was immediately drawn to Tess and her creativity. Has she finally met the a love worthy of her and will Buzz reconnect with Frank's mistress, same time next year. This story line weaves between the present day Mermaid Festival and the 1887's, when the Cradle Harbor mermaid leg ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the setting, the coast of Maine, to the town's Mermaid mythology, artists, lost souls and those who try to find and protect them, albeit at times against their wishes, I loved everything about this book. I was completely captivated with the story, the characters and the imagery. The experience of reading it was like reading a long evocative poem or a dance or a song that never quite leaves you. Although, it has its sad, tragic moments, it also has so much hope and colour and belief in brigh ...more
Chelsae Rohrback
Sep 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the parallel story lines of the past and present. Being that this book revolves around this "mermaid mutiny," I was left wanting to know more about what happened and who or what was the mermaid collector? Was it an analogy for the town?

The characters were well developed and like able. Each one had their own inner demons they confronted on their own or as a group. Overall, a good read but left me wanting to know more.
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this light read -- lots of history, interesting relationships, and of course a "love" story with a happy ending. I related to the need to let go of things in the past and just let them be what they where. No grudges, blame or other bad feelings to weigh you down, and do not allow you to move forward with happiness we all deserve. ...more
Nicole Lungeanu
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and the idea behind it. The only thing I had to struggle with were the jumps between the times. One chapter is was in the past, next chapter in the present and suddenly it was in 1887/1888. It took me always a few lines to figure out what time it was and which person. But besides that it was great and I'd recommend it to everyone who likes books about mermaid legends. *wink* ...more
Linda Grimes
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Mermaid Collector delivers a magical and moving escape to the coast of Maine--it was a true pleasure to spend time in the coastal world Marks has created. If you love characters so real they'll make your heart ache, grab this book and dive in! You'll be glad you did. ...more
Caryn Dennis
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I tore through this book pretty quickly. I was in the mood for a quick read. This hit the spot. I enjoyed both story lines, but it was a bit too predictable. Especially the 'present' story line. I could've read an entire book about the past 'mermaid' tale. ...more
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
One magical novel, mermaids and wind chimes blending families and lovers with a sailor's rope and a mermaid's song through history. I read this in one sitting, a perfect afternoon spent at the Mermaid Festival. ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Deeply complex characters told within such a simple and beautiful story. It was lovely.
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Nice, light, entertaining read.
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Hello, fellow reader! I am the NAL author of women's fiction set by the sea. My fifth novel, THE LAST TREASURE, follows the love triangle between three treasure hunters searching for a mysterious shipwreck on the Outer Banks, and comes ashore on August 2, 2016. I love meeting with book clubs via Skype--so stop by my website to learn how we can set up a chat! ...more

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