Book title: The Mermaid
Author: Christina Henry
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
Target Audience: Young Adult
The ocean has a rhythm, but it has no heart.
Why I chose this?
I have read Christina Henry books before and although they were a bit darker than what I read I liked her style of writing. So we take Christina Henry + P.T Barnum + and Mermaid then I’m certainly going to pick it up.
Once there was a mermaid called Amelia who could never be content in the sea, a mermaid who longed to know all the world and all its wonders, and so she came to live on land. Once there was a man called P. T. Barnum, a man who longed to make his fortune by selling the wondrous and miraculous, and there is nothing more miraculous than a real mermaid. Amelia agrees to play the mermaid for Barnum and walk among men in their world, believing she can leave anytime she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid.
What I thought
Like with her other books there is no time for pretty scene building we just jump right into the story. A mermaid (later known as Amelia) gets caught in a fisherman’s net and because she sees that he’s lonely decides to trade her fin for legs and live with him happily ever after.
Okay so her transformation is a little different where Amelia only has to touch sand and her fin changes which is a very painful process. Now mermaids age differently so while she marries the lonely fisherman it’s not quite happily ever after as he goes out to see one day and never returns.
Now because she doesn’t age the village she lives by get suspicious as it’s been 10 years and she hasn’t changed a bit. Also as she comes from a fishing town in middle of nowhere Maine rumours start to spread which is where P.T Barnum comes into play.
Henry writes Barnum different from what we find in The Greatest Showman. This Barnum is incredibly greedy, unsympathetic and doesn’t seem to have time for women who know what they want as “he knows whats best.”
Amelia is a great character as she doesn’t understand some human concepts but Henry writes it that Barnum and his Lawyer Levi (only for Barnum’s sake half the time) are completely ignorant to other people and their way of life and their feelings. Amelia sees the injustice in the world but is often ignored not because she is a Mermaid but because she is a woman. However, this is set is the 1800s so not that unusual and true to the era.
The writing in this is what I’d have expected from this book but I thought there was something missing. The story was in three parts and the second part was a little too long when comparing it to part one and three.
The reason behind my rating is because I was expecting more about the Mermaid and the fisherman rather than a Barnum exhibition.
I’ve decided to give The Mermaid