The Mermaid Collector

( 15 )

Overview

More than a century ago, lighthouse keeper Linus Harris left his beloved wife and waded into the ocean with three other men to reunite with their mermaid lovers. The mysterious Mermaid Mutiny of 1888 has become legend for the residents of Cradle Harbor, Maine, honored by the town’s Mermaid Festival every August, when wind chimes are hung from seaside porches to drown out the alluring sound of mermaid song.

For thirty-five-year-old Tess Patterson, the legend is more than ...

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Overview

More than a century ago, lighthouse keeper Linus Harris left his beloved wife and waded into the ocean with three other men to reunite with their mermaid lovers. The mysterious Mermaid Mutiny of 1888 has become legend for the residents of Cradle Harbor, Maine, honored by the town’s Mermaid Festival every August, when wind chimes are hung from seaside porches to drown out the alluring sound of mermaid song.

For thirty-five-year-old Tess Patterson, the legend is more than folklore; it’s proof of life’s magic. A hopeless romantic who is profoundly connected to the ocean in which she lost her mother, Tess ekes out a living as a wood-carver and longs to find a love as mystical as the sea. But when she’s hired to carve the commemorative mermaid sculpture for the coming festival, a chance to win the town’s elusive acceptance might finally be in her grasp.

For Tom Grace, life’s magic was lost at eighteen, when the death of his parents left him to care for his reckless brother, Dean. Now thirty-five and the new owner of Cradle Harbor’s prized lightkeeper’s house, Tom hopes the quiet town will calm Dean’s self-destructive ways. But when Tom discovers Tess working on her sculpture, an unlikely and passionate affair ignites between them that just might be the stuff of legend itself—even as it brings to the surface a long-buried secret that could tear everything apart.  

CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Marks returns to coastal Maine for her flat second novel (after Little Gale Gumbo). Mermaid lore plays a big part of life in Cradle Harbor—in fact, the town's annual Mermaid Festival pays tribute to the legend of four local sailors who were allegedly seduced by mermaids. When woodcarver Tess Patterson is chosen to create a mermaid statue for this year's festival, she sees it as her opportunity to find acceptance among Cradle Harbor's stodgy natives and gain the recognition that her late mother, a free-spirited artist, never managed to earn. But it's the arrival of another outsider who'll help Tess finally feel at home. How a Chicago boy came to inherit the harbor lighthouse keeper's cottage is a source of consternation for the town's historical society, but Tom Grace, whose parents were killed years ago in a car accident, intends to move in and make do. The two outcasts connect instantly, but they must relinquish their tragic pasts in order to move forward together. Marks has built a memorable and richly detailed setting, but her romance lacks conflict and conviction. Agent: Rebecca Gradinger, Fletcher & Co. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451237927
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 213,290
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A native New Englander, Erika Marks has worked as an illustrator, an art director, a cake decorator and a carpenter. This is her second novel. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Is there a better backdrop for a story than the ocean, beaches,

    Is there a better backdrop for a story than the ocean, beaches, lighthouses and mermaids? I think not! Erika Marks brings to life a story of The Mermaid Mutiny of 1888 to life with Lydia and Linus Harris. Linus is the lighthouse keeper in Cradle Harbor, Maine in 1887. Together they are simply a young couple setting up a home and hoping to start a family. When an unfathomable event occurs---changes everything for this couple and the town.

    A century later, the legend of Lydia and Linus lives on and is celebrated with a Mermaid Festival. For Tess Patterson this is a magical time. Tess is a local artist who recently was commissioned to make a mermaid wood carved statue for the town.

    Tess is looking for acceptance from the townspeople with their noses in the air. Whereas Tom Grace (new in town) isn't looking to please the community of Cradle Harbor. He just wants a fresh start for himself and younger brother, Dean.

    Tom and Tess make the perfect couple, but is their desire to change their pasts going to doom their future?

    I LOVED The Mermaid Collector! I had begun reading it the day before my dad passed away and finished it the week after his funeral. As I read the last few chapters, I couldn't put The Mermaid Collector down. Not only was this a fantastically written story, but Marks wrote with such truth. As I read at 3am in the morning tears fell.

    Erika Marks did an amazing job of weaving the two stories together. I was completely taken in with Lydia's story. You get tid bits along the way, so you get an idea of how it will end---yet as it draws to a close you want a different ending! I just couldn't accept that was how it was going to end.

    As I read about Tess & Tom I just kept wanting them to let go of their past--knowing you hinder your future if you are always looking backwards.

    The only thing that could have made this a better read was if I could have read it on a New England beach, with a hot tea, wearing a cable knit sweater with the background sound of waves crashing and the tingling sounds of wind chimes.

    An absolute perfect fall read! I highly recommend THE MERMAID COLLECTOR!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful!

    I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads

    Wow The mermaid Collector was a pleasantly delightful read. The read was light, heartwarming, sad, happy and magical. I managed to finish the book in just a day because I couldn't find myself able to put it down.


    I love the way the author did the parallel time difference to show the readers were the mermaid legend originated at that town, it flowed smoothly with the current story line. The characters were interesting, the battles that they fought from losing a death one at an early age, to alcoholism to disorders made their stories unique in their struggles. Dealing with relationship between Tess and Buzz, Tess and the town, and two very different brothers.

    The book was written very well, and I loved it. It touched on things and different perspectives. As sad as the Lydia story turned out, i almost ache for more. I will be looking forward to other books written by this author.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    I dont even want to give this book one star...what I DO want is

    I dont even want to give this book one star...what I DO want is to get the time back that I spent reading it.
    It is horrible.....terrible....the author missed the mark ...if they ever even saw it.
    Ive read plenty of books where there is romance from infidelity or a mixture of random people coming together and the author can weave it together beautifully with some kind of silver lining....not this...not even close. Some say this is a "teen" book...teens IMHO dont need to be reading rubish about 15 year long affairs or people sleeping together after a day of knowing each other. CRAP

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    Romance and the Sea

    A nice romance set on the coast of Maine. Enjoyed the setting and the historical elements of the story, especially the part about Linus and Lydia. All of the characters were well developed. A good read for the beach, on vacation or in the waiting room.

    If you like salty stories set on the New England coast, mermaids and sea monsters, you might also like "The Blue Bottle" by Emilie-Noelle Provost. It's for younger readers, but it's a great story full of adventure good for kids and parents.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Great second novel from an up-and-coming novelist. Marks writes

    Great second novel from an up-and-coming novelist. Marks writes beautifully and brings the Maine landscape to life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

    Loved It

    Excellent book, I love it

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Lilah

    She slowly swam in, her eyes hurt. "Cyren..." she continually muttered.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2014

    ~Fantasy Rp Mermaid Camp~

    ~Cordelia

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Mermaid lover

    This book is great!!!!!! I loved it!!!!!

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    excellent summer read

    Loved this story! Light enjoyable reading. Great for vacation!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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