Book Review (Updated): “Mermaid” by Carolyn Turgeon

MermaidMermaid by Carolyn Turgeon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Original Rating: 5/5 stars
New Rating: 2.5/5 stars

I honestly cannot, for the life of me, remember why I liked this book so much when I previously read it. I do remember gobbling it up, devouring it, and wanting more. The second read through was more like nails-on-a-chalkboard painful. I had to stop reading it multiple times, and getting through it was a chore. Reading should not be a chore!

“Mermaid” by Carolyn Turgeon is a ‘twist on the classic tale’ of ‘The Little Mermaid.’ It focuses on the two main characters, switching narratives between Princess Margrethe (a human princess who falls for the man that the mermaid saves), and the Princess Lenia (the mermaid). While Margrethe longs for adventure and the open sea, Lenia wants nothing more than to understand what it is to be human, and to have a soul of her own.

Everything changes for the two when Lenia saves a prince from the South, who is a sworn enemy to Margrethe’s people. Both women fall desperately in love with him, and they would do anything to be with him.

The basic idea of “Mermaid” is a wonderful one. I really like the idea of these two women who have so much in common, and yet yearn for different things while still, in the end, needing the same sort of love that the other is searching for. It’s a great premise, and I think that is why I enjoyed it so much on my first read through. This time around, however, I realized that the writing is sort of all over the place. While Turgeon has a way with words, the pacing is painfully slow. Some of the sentences are choppy, while others go on for what feels like forever.

Perhaps one day I’ll return to “Mermaid” with open arms. I would love to relive the feelings I first had for the novel. That day, however, is not right now. I need to move on to something more substantial, and that does not take forever to more forward in its plot.

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