2-3-4 Challenge Book Discussions #1 discussion

Why Mermaids Sing (Sebastian St. Cyr, #3)
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Why Mermaids Sing > Question H

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Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
Each setting in the story is described in detail and period vernacular is used throughout. How does this contribute or detract from your reading experience?


message 2: by Charlene (last edited Mar 08, 2016 07:05PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 1379 comments I could definitely feel myself in a different time and place. When Sebastian took Tom along on the river trip, I was hoping to get more detail of the observatory, but the author hurried over that part. I did appreciate the description of the boat, and I almost smelled the dead fish and other river odors, so the writing was vivid here.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 2239 comments Harris is an excellent writer. The descriptions are never superfluous or excessive but rather contribute to the tone and atmosphere of the setting and the story.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
I agree with you both. The writing evoked vivid and strong images and emotions throughout the story. I could smell the docks, Gibson's surgery/morgue area, etc. It all put me dead smack in the heart of the story.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments I think the author does a wonderful job at capturing the sights, smells, and sounds of the time period. She occasionally posts pictures on her blog of places depicted in the books, typically tagged "Sebastian's London".

Tattersall's (will also feature in some future books) - where Sebastian confronted Peter Quail.



The Marshalsea - where Sebastian met with the owner of the Harmony's cargo.



This was the sick ward in the Marshalsea circa 1729 (not sure how much better it would've been in Sebastian's time).



The Tower Hill area where Gibson lives and practices.






Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
Thank you SO much, Veronica, for posting these images. Fascinating.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments You're welcome! I'm a very visual person so it helps me to have images like this.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 2239 comments Wonderful pictures. Thanks Veronica.


Phrynne | 601 comments Great pictures Veronica. The Tower moat one is fascinating.


Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 1379 comments I add my thanks, Veronica.

The three levels of sick people makes me shudder to think of being in any of these cots or hammocks. Unsanitary conditions, indeed!


message 11: by Loriidae (last edited Mar 12, 2016 01:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loriidae It is Harris' descriptiveness that makes the stories so much more compelling and realistic.

One thing I hate when reading an historical is to be pulled out of the story by modern turns of phrase.


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 563 comments Mod
I like her descriptions as it makes the places and things of that time come to life for me.


Tracey (trakka) | 407 comments Thanks for the pictures Veronica!

I love it when books are written about places I regularly visit, I then visualise the place as it was and as it is now. I seemed to remember that Sebastian went to St Albans, Hertfordshire in this book, I regularly go there.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments Tracey, I live in the States but I'd love to visit London and take a walking tour of Sebastian's London someday.


Tracey (trakka) | 407 comments London is a beautiful place for so many reasons. I love the history as well as the buzz. I haven't commuted in for work for almost 13 years and I actually miss it. I will eventually be forced to commute in again. I'm postponing it as long as I can so that my girls are older and I will still get to see them every evening but I'm also looking forward to moving in again if that makes sense!


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
I've only visited once but loved everything about the city. I'm hoping I get another opportunity for a visit.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 2239 comments Love London!
I don't think I could ever live there (way too noisy and busy for my small town sensibilities, lol), but I've visited often on holiday and when I lived in Reading for a year.


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 563 comments Mod
I have always wanted to visit London! Some day soon.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments Yes, sometimes it's easy to imagine the smells, lol.


message 20: by Mary Beth (last edited Jun 12, 2016 08:23PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary Beth  | 193 comments I loved the author's descriptions of the settings. I felt like I was there visiting. I love reading books like this because I love visiting different time periods and countries like I am there visiting. I felt like I was on a vacation in London. I love to use my imagination and make believe.

I love those pictures Veronica!


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments My pleasure, Mary Beth.


message 22: by Sharon (last edited May 03, 2020 08:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 213 comments I love the descriptions by Harris. They are vivid and can change my mood based on where they are in the city. London almost becomes a character in the book; sometimes good, sometimes not so much.

I love the pictures posted above. It gives me more to think about and retain for future stories.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
Great observation! Veronica’s pictorial posts are a wonderful part of these discussions.


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