Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Mermaid's Daughter: A Novel by Ann Claycomb

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

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 malady of experiencing stabbing pain in her feet. On her sixteenth birthday, she woke screaming from the sensation that her tongue had been cut out. No doctor can find a medical explanation for her pain, and even the most powerful drugs have proven useless. Only the touch of seawater can ease her pain, and just temporarily at that.

Now Kathleen is a twenty-five-year-old opera student in Boston and shows immense promise as a soprano. Her girlfriend Harry, a mezzo in the same program, worries endlessly about Kathleen’s phantom pain and obsession with the sea. Kathleen’s mother and grandmother both committed suicide as young women, and Harry worries they suffered from the same symptoms. When Kathleen suffers yet another dangerous breakdown, Harry convinces Kathleen to visit her hometown in Ireland to learn more about her family history.

In Ireland, they discover that the mystery—and the tragedy—of Kathleen’s family history is far older and stranger than they could have imagined.  Kathleen’s fate seems sealed, and the only way out is a terrible choice between a mermaid’s two sirens—the sea, and her lover. But both choices mean death…

Haunting and lyrical, The Mermaid’s Daughter asks—how far we will go for those we love? And can the transformative power of music overcome a magic that has prevailed for generations?

my thoughts:

You know that song from Disney's The Little Mermaid - "Under the Sea" - the one that crab Sebastian sings.  Well, it played in my head the whole time I read this book and I have to admit that I loved it. Yes, I am a fan of Disney and The Little Mermaid was one of my favorites.  I will admit to preferring Beauty and the Beast (she LOVES to read just like me, how can I not LOVE this story more, right?).  Anyhow, I had just seen the trailer for the new film for The Little Mermaid (LOVED IT!!) when I finally decided to read this book.  Talk about procrastination, right?  The review was only due this week and I figured I'd read it the weekend before - Ack!  Luckily, I'm a fast reader and this gorgeous story is one you can gobble up in no time.

The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb - wow!  Seriously, wow.  Based on Hans Christian Andersens' tale, The Little Mermaid, this story has quite the modern day twist.  And just like the original fairy tales, there is a tragic, dark and twisty feel to the whole story; which I just loved!

This is the story of Kathleen, her girlfriend Harry, and her family's history in Ireland. Yes, Ireland! Such a beautiful country filled with a rich history and  several enchanting mythologies.  In this book, Kathleen is a rising opera singer - she is on the verge of becoming famous.  However, she suffers from debilitating conditions that threaten to end her career. Apparently, her family history is riddled with the women getting ill, being obsessed with the sea, and committing suicide. Yikes!  Talk about wanting to escape your family's past!  So what's a gal to do?  Ask dad (Robin) for help figuring out the truth behind your family's screwed up history and take a trip to where it all began - Ireland!!  However, the closer that Kathleen gets to her ancestor's secret, the more devastating the information truly is.  What's she going to do? Carry on as her mother once did? Or attempt to conquer this "condition"? Double Yikes!!

Told from Kathleen, Harry and Robin's perspective, we get an inside peek as to how they really feel about this family secret and how its been handled over the years. We also learn about the sea witches, which were fascinating, scary and exciting all rolled into one.  I just loved reading this enchanting tale about a modern day "mermaid".  It was so much fun, even though the story is sad and haunting with all of its tragedy.  You can't help but get carried away in all of the drama, family history, and Ireland.  Claycomb does a wonderful job in developing these unforgettable characters and updating Andersen's fairy tale - The Mermaid's Daughter is storytelling at its best!

I would happily recommend this book to fans of Claycomb and fans of fairy tales - you will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Mermaid's Daughter
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Ti said...

I saw this book and was curious about it. It sounded light to me. You know what I mean. But I absolutely love The Little Mermaid. And this book does sound interesting. I would not be able to live with phantom pains striking me down left and right.

Nadia said...

Ti, I know! How crazy would that be?! Its a modern fairy tale, so its definitely light in one sense, but the tragedy definitely makes it richer. I think you'd enjoy it, especially if you love TLM :)

Lark said...

I grew up with Andersen's version of The Little Mermaid and have always loved this story. I'm excited that Claycomb has put a new spin on this old tale. It sounds like a very good read. :)

Nadia said...

Lark, then you will definitely enjoy this one :)

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Sebastian was always my very favorite character in The Little Mermaid. :)

Thanks for being a part of the tour!