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Mermaid

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  5,605 ratings  ·  819 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 ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Crown Publishing Group (first published March 1st 2001)
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Liz You mean like two-hundred story high golden dildos, or papal boners? No, I don't recall anything of Disney's special brand of subtext.

Though now I…more
You mean like two-hundred story high golden dildos, or papal boners? No, I don't recall anything of Disney's special brand of subtext.

Though now I think of it, sex does come into play later in the book; I don't think the story went into much graphic detail about it though. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Selena
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  5,605 ratings  ·  819 reviews


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Shannon
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
...more
Carolyn
Jan 28, 2011 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.

=)
Jessica
Feb 18, 2011 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 ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
for purely sentimental reasons
When I was small there was a Japanese anime version of The Little Mermaid that would occasionally play on tv (channel 41 WDRB) on Sunday afternoon. This became my first exposure to a movie "princess" there was no Disney VHS when I was a child. I fell in love with Prince Christopher along with the mermaid in the story. Little did I know that not too much younger than I had been, my daughter would do the same thing with a Prince Eric.
This story is timeless and
...more
Dominique
Mar 09, 2016 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.


...more
Mark
Nov 06, 2011 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 ...more
Jaylee
Mar 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mermaids, reviews
[All kinds of spoilers up in here.]
There are two protagonists in this book. The princess is hiding out in a nunnery because of vague threats from the southern country. The mermaid is obsessed with the surface. Both fall in instalove with the prince within a few hours of meeting him, to the point where both are willing to give up everything they have to be with him. This is obnoxious in and of itself, but more so because the two of them didn't really spend any time with him, and the reader hardly
...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
...more
Sarah Mac
DNF, pg 50-some -- because I don't want to bother. I don't like the story; I don't like the repetitive, dreamy prose; I don't like the continual burbling about souls; I don't like the mermaid's yearning for patently, blatantly imperfect surface-bound life just to offer a 'fairytale lesson' about the grass being greener & being careful what you wish for.

...So why force myself to finish it? *shrug* Good question. And I'm not gonna. >:P

This is one of those books where you look at your
...more
Tyler J [They/He] Gray
Sooo a weird supernatural pregnancy and just over-all...wtf did I just read? I'm not sure what I expected but I don't think that was it. Also it was too short I think, could have done with more fleshing out. I haven't read the original Hans Little Mermaid though i've just seen the Disney one and that's been awhile. Also wrapped up...too neatly....which is all i'll say for spoilers.

3 stars. It was very readable, I enjoyed a lot of it and it was is a fast read but sadly it just fell flat in too
...more
Amelia M.A.
Jul 05, 2011 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
...more
Brandon Witt
Sep 27, 2011 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
...more
Sarah
May 12, 2011 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
...more
Maria
Mar 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
As much as I love retellings, and I do, this one was not for me and this being my second try, I figured I can safely admit I tried.

When I read this, the first time, I thought maybe I had missed some dialogue or scenes but no I didn't as this time I tried the audiobook version and realized that the author actually did write what I read and I was left wanting on both occasions.

The characters felt very one dimensional, especially I think the prince, who is supposed to be the love interest as he's
...more
Brooke
Jul 06, 2011 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
...more
Fairytalecritic
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
Carah
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, fantasy, adult
I haven't read the original Hans Christian Anderson version of this story, so I'm not sure how closely it relates... but it is much different than the movie. I enjoyed this gothic retelling of the little mermaid. It has darker slightly somber tone which made the story very atmospheric. It’s a book about sacrifice and the lusting of love. I liked that it subtly explored the lesson of falling in love with the IDEA of someone vs falling in love WITH someone. I think there is an aspect of the little ...more
Kyle
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
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
...more
Bonnie
Jun 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'm a sucker for fairytale retellings. I really, really am. Which means I am doomed to read even bad ones, because maybe, just maybe it will be good, or at least have an intriguing spin on an old tale.

The best thing about this book was that it has a beautiful cover. Really, really nice. Also, shiny.

Oh, and the author follows the original Little Mermaid really closely (yay authenticity). Unfortunately, she doesn’t make the characters any smarter/more likeable than in the original.

I didn't like
...more
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 ...more
Nely
Apr 26, 2010 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"
...more
Johanna
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Mermaid
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
...more
Caroline
Jun 27, 2011 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
...more
Melanti
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
...more
Aimee
May 02, 2011 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 ...more
Stephanie
May 10, 2011 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
...more
EZRead eBookstore
Mar 15, 2011 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
...more
Alexa
Oct 13, 2011 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
...more
Rusty'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
...more
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Carolyn Turgeon is the author of five novels—Rain Village, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story, Mermaid, The Fairest of Them All, and The Next Full Moon, most of them based on old-time fairy tales, dark and glimmering—and, more recently, The Faerie Handbook, which came out from HarperCollins in November 2017 and might be the loveliest book printed this century. This will be followed by the ...more
“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.” 28 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
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