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The Mermaid's Daughter

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,599 ratings  ·  332 reviews
A modern-day expansion of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, this unforgettable debut novel weaves a spellbinding tale of magic and the power of love as a descendent of the original mermaid fights the terrible price of saving herself from a curse that has affected generations of women in her family.

Kathleen has always been dramatic. She suffers from the bizarre
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ebook, 448 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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R. Slick good endings are sometimes bad. you shouldn't read a book to just see the ending. every book was written in the way it was for a purpose, if all you…moregood endings are sometimes bad. you shouldn't read a book to just see the ending. every book was written in the way it was for a purpose, if all you do is get a good ending, watch the Disney movie, or read that book. who are we to tell the author to make it have a good ending? the book is special it was captivate you, and we shouldn't worry about then end, we should live in the moment, READ in the moment, cause if we always read books with good ending, where would reality be? (less)
Barb Grant Agreed! Too much detail on the composition process which was unnecessary.

Community Reviews

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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,599 ratings  ·  332 reviews


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Daurie Rothhaar
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! A modern fairy tale, with hints of Phantom of the Opera, this book drew me in and I couldn't put it down. I love the authors choice to incorporate the world of Opera, it felt like a very natural place for a Little Mermaid retelling. Adult fans of fairy tale retellings will not want to miss this!
Deb
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mermaid's Daughter is such a unique book that it is hard to explain and do it justice. As mentioned in the blurb, it is a modern update of the fairy tale, The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. It is as dark, actually probably even darker, than the fairy tale and set in the world of music and opera--giving it a different and interesting spin. The story is told by Kathleen, a young opera singer and student, her girlfriend Harry (Harriet) a fellow student in the music program, her fath ...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
What if the little mermaid of the famous Hans Christian Andersen's story had had a daughter?

Kathleen is at a conservatory studying opera, her soprano is amazing and she is passionate about music and singling. Her whole life has revolved around it in fact. Her father is a famous composer now, but when Kathleen was a baby her young, student, single parent father took her along when he played piano to cover his tuition. She has always sung. Her girlfriend, Harry is also a talented singer at the sa
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Mary
Apr 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
I am a lover of all things mermaid. Magical realism is one of my favorite genres. Fantasy, imagination, other worlds and possibilities. I saw this book and was excited. Sadly, it was completely unsatisfying. I found it bland, and, frankly, boring. There was nothing keeping me going. I had no connection with any of the characters, and I really didn't like Katherine much. Or Harry. The only interesting part of the story was in the ocean when the other mermaids were telling their tale. Then we went ...more
Pamela Amatucci
Apr 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
"We felt the spell catch, a tug on the line we had flung across the ocean like the jerk a fisherman feels - she heard us, at least. Now we wait and wonder how to do what must be done."

I got halfway and just couldn't do it anymore. The story is constructed in 4 different perspectives: Kathleen, Harry, Robin and the Sea Witches. Regrettably, there was little sophistication or depth in the characters and I couldn't care about any of them. And the opera parallel seemed forced and awkward. I supposed
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Vickie
Wow! If The Mermaid's Daughter is Ann Claycomb's debut novel, I can't wait for her next one. This is a take on the classic fairy tale but is dark and edgy. I loved the fact that it takes place in the world of opera, that seems to meld together very well. I must admit that it took me a while to settle down with the story, but once I did, I was hooked. And the ending? Well, let me just say,.....!

Great book, great read!!

Go Cards! L1C4!!
Julie
Aug 29, 2018 marked it as dnf-gave-up-or-will-never-read  ·  review of another edition
DNF @ 91 pages. I'm becoming more cutthroat in how I abandon books, because there's just too many in this world to finish. I feel like I gave this one a good college try, too.

The book isn't terrible, but I just never wound up enjoying it or even looking forward to picking it up again, instead feeling a light irritation throughout. I really, really disliked the main character, the melodramatic and manic soprano, so being stuck in her POV was a toil -- the single chapter I reached narrated by her
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Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a gentle, interesting book about a curse that had been handed down from mother to daughter for over a century.

Kathleen's mother killed herself when Kathleen was a baby and Kathleen has grown up with the same searing pain in her feet that her mother endured all her life, as well as the sensation that her tongue has been cut out. She's a soprano in an opera programme at college and her girlfriend Harry worries about her constantly, but when they take a trip back to Kathleen's home countr
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Amie
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Good God no one said half of this book would be about Opera discussions and how a father composes a song about his daughter. It blathered on with literary comparisons and less about mermaids. The love story wasn't even that compelling. I gave it two stars because the concept is creative but it was way too pretentious for me. I gave up on it.
Carolina Troxell
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this book is kind of dark but so well written and interesting. I'm hoping for a happy ending.
Marcy
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
First fantasy book I've read. But loved the story & loved the ending.
⭐ Emerson ⭐
Currently $1.99 on Amazon
Regularly $10.99
Becky
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kathleen has been plagued by pain all her life. Shooting, stabbing pains in her feet when she stands and walks, and persistent pain in her mouth so bad that it can incapacitate her. She's seen doctors and mental health professionals, been run through a barrage of tests, and even been committed but no one has ever been able to find the cause or a solution. Strangely, the only alleviation Kathleen has ever had from the pain has come from sea water.

At twenty-five, Kathleen has already outlived her
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Amy
I bought this book while on vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in a little bookshop my friend and I pedaled to on rented bikes. When I saw the title and the cover I knew it was the perfect book to read on a beach vacation. Fast forward more than a month and a half and I've finally read it.

This story is a twist on Hans Christian Anderson's Little Mermaid tale. There's even a bonus short story at the end in which Anderson is a main character. I found the novel engaging-- especially beca
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Kelly (Simply Kelina) C.
I have not heard much about this upcoming release, but when I read the synopsis I knew I wanted to give it a try. I was lucky enough to get an ARC to read and review.

This starts off with a quote from The Little Mermaid which is one of my all time favorite Disney movies. After that, it take me some time to really get into this. I actually put this down for a few weeks before I decided to give it another try. However; once I did pick it back up, I really enjoyed it.

I really enjoyed the writing st
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Donna Foster
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
A fairy tale with lots of curves, immersed in surprising twists and a big splash.
Ryan
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, I'm a bit predisposed to loving it, but I think you will love it too.
Hollow Well
I really, really liked this book even though it is a bit more literary than I'm normally capable of reading. I learned a lot about opera and had to refresh myself with several classic texts in order to keep up with the goings-on. Specifically, it's good to know the original Hans Christian Anderson telling of the Little Mermaid. There are a lot of references to "The Scarlett Letter". Also, you may want to get a feel for "Tam Lin".

Apparently, in opera, lead sopranos typically either go crazy, die,
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Cindy
I have never really been wowed by the little mermaid tales. I'm into all kinds of animation so the Disney movie had its moments and was charming and sweet. The original fairy tale was much darker but I still couldn't get on board. Even as a child I loved dark but I wondered why the mermaid gave up all her good stuff. Supposedly for love. I guess I've always been weird. Both the child and the adult me would believe in dragons in a heart beat. But a mermaid who opts out of swimming with dolphins a ...more
Sophie
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, lesbian
way better than I thought it would be! don't be put off by the cover! it falls into none of the traps that I find fairy tale retellings often do: it's creative in its modernity rather than just transposed directly into modern day, it keeps the essentials of the original story, and I felt like the main characters were a lot better written than I expected. Kathleen isn't just a generic Ariel doppelganger but rather fully formed, as are her family and girlfriend. I didn't give it 5 stars because th ...more
Marion
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
An innovative take on The Little Mermaid (but not at all how you're thinking). I love when writers get imaginative and creative, and Ann Claycomb delivers on that front. Her writing is quite strong, with lots of sea-related descriptions and metaphors that aren't heavy-handed or too on the nose. The stuff about music is also enjoyable and feels true to life. It gave me a greater appreciation for opera. I definitely recommend this one.
Rachelle Kirby
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It would have been perfect if it didn't seem to run a little long in the middle. Such a interesting retelling of The Little Mermaid. So many stories within the story this book has it all a beautiful retelling, opera, culture, travel, a love story, Lgbt. Dark and Lyrical. A must read if you love retellings.
Bec
This is now one of my favourite fairy tale retellings. It is modern and romantic and fantastical and such a wonderful tribute to the original telling of The Little Mermaid. I can not tell you how wonderful I thought it was! Oh, and it's also one of the most gorgeous F/F stories I have read.


"We felt the spell catch, a tug on the line we had flung across the ocean like the jerk a fisherman feels - she heard us, at least. Now we wait and wonder how to do what must be done."



The story follows Kat
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Jamie
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think there are any spoilers in here but maybe the tone gives something away.

I truly loved this book. I did not find it abelist in the least even as someone with both chronic pain and depression; I found it logical to use the pain as the connection to the magic because she isn't crazy or making it up.

The characters are flawed and yet you love them. The stigma attached to mental health and chronic pain were both treated as they are in life. The author captured the music and opera as onl
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T. Renee
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-reads
Completely Awed.

First off, I 'started' this book a week ago on a lunch break at work, read six pages and then closed the book and put it away. Just in the first few pages I knew this was going to be a non-stop read and I refused to open it again until I could sit and read it all the way through... which I did... in about half a day. Amazing story!

Now, generally I do not like to quote lines from novels I read in my reviews, not sure why, I just don't. This story had so many quote worthy phrases t
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Angela
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's been so long since I've read a fairy tale retelling this good. I'm actually struggling to think of any off the top of my head that have felt this well-rounded and complete. The Little Mermaid aspect of the story never felt like a gimmick, and the story never felt like it was twisting itself unnaturally to fit the framework of the original tale. Everything from the characters to the narrative arc flowed so wonderfully and naturally. There were so many pitfalls this story could have fallen in ...more
Jessie
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars
Finished this but it was a struggle
The book started out well and interesting. I loved Kathleen & Harrys relationship! Harry was such a caring, understanding, wonderful girlfriend and she's a true example of how you should help your partner. Their relationship and Harry's Chapters were probably my favourite part of this book. Speaking in which, I'm not a fan of the writing style. The book is POV and I can't stand the main characters chapters or her fathers. But as for the rest, thi
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Kari
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-read
I know it's still early in the year, so you might not think this has much weight, but this is definitely the best book I've read so far this year!

I received an advance reading copy at the ALA Midwinter conference and had finished within the week.
Sky
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful take on a classic tale.
Diane Klajbor
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
I know a book isn't engaging me when I find myself looking for household chores to do. Well, while I was reading this book, I realized I had caught up on laundry, dishes, cleaning and cooked up a storm. What does that tell you about how interesting it was? It started out OK, a re-telling of The Little Mermaid fairy tale in modern time. But it soon veered off course with way too much about opera -singing, writing, performing anything and everything related to opera. The book went on way too long. ...more
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