A Twist on the Classic Tale

Turgeon, Carolyn

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
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 in to the sea. As Margrethe nurses the handsome stranger back to health, she learns that not only is he a prince, he is also the son of her father's greatest rival. Sure that the mermaid brought this man to her for a reason, Margrethe devises a plan to bring peace to her kingdom. Meanwhile, the mermaid princess Lenia longs to return to the human man she carried to safety. She is willing to trade her home, her voice, and even her health for legs and a chance to win his heart.--From back cover.

Publisher: New York : Broadway Paperbacks, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307589972
Branch Call Number: FICTION TURGEON 2011
Characteristics: 244 p. ;,21 cm


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Aug 04, 2014
  • sherryhuang rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Interesting read; I never really thought of the princess or the sea witch in that way. Confusing at parts--for example, what was Agnes' story? Was she really Sybil in disguise? And if she was, how come Lenia couldn't 'sense' her like Sybil said all humans could? Did that mean Lenia wasn't completely human until she and Christopher got married? I need more on this! I like how this book sticks with the ORIGINAL story, not the rainbows-and-butterflies Disney version, with its own bit of a twist at the end. Very good.

Jun 12, 2014
  • isingalto rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Admit it, it's obnoxious how the Little Mermaid gives up everything for a boy she's seen once. Carolyn Turgeon expands on why the mermaid loves him and the human world and it almost makes sense! Beautiful descriptions of the undersea world.

Sep 25, 2013
  • jurban1983 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed that this story sticks to the original version of "The Little Mermaid," and not the Disney version. It was neat that the author included the point of view from the young girl that found the prince on the beach, which gives the reader more empathy by putting them in both girls' places - seeing the story from the mermaid's point of view AND the human princess's point of view.

All in all, a GREAT story! I truly loved it.

Jun 06, 2013
  • Forward_Moment rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This was a really unique and interesting retelling of The Little Mermaid. I liked that it kept a bittersweet ending, while softening Hans Christian Anderson's ending (which I admit I've never really liked). I really felt for both the mermaid and the princess, which is kind of unusual in The Little Mermaid!

Mar 25, 2013
  • sally_gwyn rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Excellent story! It was everything I always wanted the little mermaid story to be and more. A light read but definitly fun. Loved it!

Dec 15, 2012

lukz lik a gud read.........

Feb 28, 2012
  • cori_s rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Be warned, this isn't a "fairy tale," this is a romance novel with a heavy dose of Christianity thrown in. Compelling writing - I did read the whole thing, but I'm a little embarrassed that I did. To any teenage girls who are reading this, you deserve better from sex, love, and literature.

Jan 23, 2012
  • sunnyally rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

loved it <3

Sep 21, 2011
  • mkeo1226 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I fell in love. And in the end, I was left wanting more. I recommend this for anyone who wishes they were a little girl again and wants to be swept away in a great fairy tale!

Aug 06, 2011
  • KKPGIRL rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was such a great book! I was absolutely glued to this book, wondering what would become of this love triangle. It all came together beautifully in the end, and I really enjoyed it. I also liked the change of mythical creature - mermaids - instead of vampires. I've never read a book about mermaids before, and this book will definitely not be the last! I do not recommend this book for younger readers due to some morbid events and sexual nature of the story.

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Jan 02, 2014

soadorable01 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Sep 25, 2013
  • jurban1983 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

jurban1983 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 06, 2011
  • KKPGIRL rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Apr 04, 2011
  • AnneDromeda rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

<p>If you're a girl who grew up in the 80s and 90s, brace yourself. Chances are, you loved Disney's <i>The Little Mermaid</i> growing up. If you did, you were likely disappointed when you picked up the original tale and discovered the mermaid dies and the Prince is a fickle toad of a man. So, what if I told you that there's just been a book released that tells the story better than both the versions you know?</p>

</p>Of all who've approached folktales and myths, only Carolyn Turgeon, Neil Gaiman and Angela Carter can really sustain the visceral, archetypal force of the oral tales in their new, print versions. Turgeon is in fine form, here.</p>

<p>The mermaid Lenia has come of age, and wants more than anything to experience the world of humans. But, on her visit to the surface, she witnesses a terrible shipwreck. Struck by the beauty of one of the victims, she decides to save him. Unable to live on land and obligated to return to her people, she leaves the Prince in the care of a woman at a convent on a cold, northern shore. Fascinated by the lore of the soul and the warm fragility of human life, Lenia is captivated by the man she leaves behind, and falls in love.</p>

<p>This is where Turgeon's tale diverges, and becomes something more richly alchemical within the imagination than previous versions. The woman at the convent turns out to be Margrethe, the daughter of the warlike Northern King. The Prince is the son of the rival Southern King. Margrethe, of course, only realizes this after she has fallen in love. With the two kingdoms poised to enter a war that could finish them both, Margrethe hatches a plan to marry the Prince and unite the kingdoms. Meanwhile, Lenia has taken the potion that split her tail, and has reunited with the Prince. But, she must convince him to marry her, or she will die a death of pure oblivion - without her family, and without having obtained a soul.</p>

<p>Turgeon's chapters focus alternately on each woman, and the reader can hardly decide for whom to cheer before the next chapter forces her to change sides. Turgeon deftly weaves the simple awe of the natural world into the magic of folktales so that they become seamless, and the folktale's domain expands. By the end, the reader is so ensnared in the plot and atmosphere that the twist ending's catharsis is devoured in one gulp. This is where Turgeon's real skill lies - her nuanced understanding of pace and archetype force us to process written words in the same part of us as spoken words and imagination have always met in myth. Readers who enjoy fast-paced gothic romances will love <i>Mermaid</i>, as will fans of fractured fairy tales and myths. And those of you who've craved a grown-up version of Ariel's story will find something grittier and more surreal than you'd dare hope.</p>


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