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From the author of Lost Boy comes a beautiful historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea, only to become the star attraction of history's greatest showman.
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.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Christina Henry is the author of Lost Boy, Alice, Red Queen, and the national bestselling Black Wings series featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle, Beezle.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from "The Mermaid"
Copyright © 2018 Christina Henry.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Experience: I started reading The Mermaid on 8/9/18 and finished it on 8/20/18 at 2am. This book is a marvelous read! Such a lyrical narrative! I love the clever ways the characters are thinking and knowing. I like following Amelia, Levi, and Barnum’s thought processes. They are clever and brutally honest when they think, but school their faces to calm when they interact with others. This book is not a retelling of the little mermaid, but more of a story on the mermaid and her life before and after 1842 living in the sea and becoming an attraction on land. This book is told in the third person point of view following a Mermaid named Amelia and a fisherman named Jack. Amelia is curious of the people and the land and Jack loves the sea. One day Jack catches Amelia in a net, though he lets her go, he still hope to see her again. Amelia had heard stories about mermaids becoming human and she tested it out. It works and she finds her way to back Jack. For many years they love each other and grow old together, except that Amelia doesn’t grow old. New York in 1842, there is a man named P.T. Barnum, a collector and a con artist of strange and unusual, who is seeking for something spectacular to display at his museum as a way to earn fame and fortune. An old story about a widow mermaid is then passed onto Barnum and he wanted to seek her out even though he doesn’t believe the mermaid is real. Readers will also follow Levi’s view, a lawyer turned showman for Barnum. His job is to convince people to do things and he’s very good at it. Levi is a fair man who wants equality for all employees, even the ones on displays. Amelia has been living in Northern Maine at the cottage by the sea, long after her husband Jack is gone. With Levi’s invitation, she wants to take the opportunity to see the world, but as soon as she arrives in New York, what she sees is not what she expects. A well developed book, The Mermaid is a beautifully written story. I like Amelia, strong and independent to deal with such a scoundrel employer. I like her ability to refrain from anger when arguing. I like following her learning curve about understanding people and feelings and whether her decisions she made is right for her. The story spun very well with multiple point of views so readers can have a rounded understanding of each character’s feelings and yearnings. I like the love story. This book give a good glimpse into life in the 1800s. I like the supporting characters with Charity and Caroline. This book is a fantastic read and I highly recommend everyone to read it! Pro: fast paced, page turner, couldn’t put down, museum, New York, 1800s, mermaid, love Con: none I rate it 5 stars! ***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest. xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details
Amelia is a mermaid that is bored with the ocean and starts exploring. She ends up caught in a fisherman’s net. She sees the loneliness in his eyes and although he lets her go she decides to turn human and spend time with him. He is her first love and one day disappears at sea. Then she is approached by someone talking about museums and PT Barnum. Amelia decides she wants to see more of the world and joins PT Barnum as the Feejee Mermaid. When Barnum realizes that he has a real mermaid he decides he is going to keep her from escaping him and Amelia realizes that world is not as wonderful as she first thought. After reading Alice, Red Queen, and Lost Boy I couldn’t wait to see what Christina Henry came up with for the Little Mermaid. Well, this is NOT based on the Disney movie. Amelia is a mermaid that is not content and goes exploring. Of course she gets caught by a fisherman but ends up going back to him and he becomes her first love. This was a wonderful story, one of those that could easily be a HEA. But of course that is not how Henry works. After the loose of the love of her life, Amelia is approached to be a mermaid for PT Barnum. She agrees but quickly learns that Barnum is a shrewd business man and not about to let her go. I really enjoyed this story about the Feejee Mermaid. I admit that I have never known the true story but I knew enough to identify it as one of Barnum’s attractions. I love how this story progressed and watching Amelia find her place in our world. This is a great story and one that I recommend checking out. I love how this book is a historical twist on a hoax. It really added another dimension to this tale. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
The Mermaid is an absolutely breathtaking take on an adult-version fairytale. Mesmerizing, absorbing and utterly delightful, I adored every single page of this book. Amelia is a real-life mermaid, who lives between land and sea. Only when Amelia agrees to join P. T. Barnum's museum sideshow will she learn how horrific mankind can truly be. There is so much that could be said about how wonderful this story is - beginning with how gorgeously it is rooted in true storytelling. This is one of those rare books that will sweep in and steal your heart entirely, leaving me more than a little disappointed that I have yet to meet a real mermaid in this life. This has quickly become a top recommendation for summer must reads for me - I cannot wait to share the magic of this book with everyone I can.
Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley/Penguin Random House for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed my first Christina Henry book. I'd had my eye on her Lost Boy book and her Chronicles of Alice for a while now, but hadn't had a chance to get to them (we all know how big Mount TBR can get!). When The Mermaid popped up in my Berkley newsletter, I sprang at the chance! It's a fun tale, but my favorite part of it all was the fact that we get to see humanity through the eyes of the non-human, the titular mermaid. And honestly, while there are some shining lights in the darkness, I tend to agree with Amelia that there is so much darkness in humanity - mostly because of an abundance of apathy towards our fellow man and our fellow creatures. We should be better caretakers and stewards of the world we're in. Anyways, Amelia was a really cool and relatable character and a lot of fun to read. I'd say pick it up, grab a comfy reading space, and settle in for an afternoon of magic and entertainment. Just be prepared - this isn't The Greatest Showman. This one sticks more along the lines of how the real PT Barnum was.
Christina Henry always has a unique take on my favorite childhood stories. This book followed the story of the little mermaid, but what happened many years after she came to shore. Amelia is living a sad life when Levi finds her on a remote island. He convinces her to join PT Barnam in his strange endeavors. Of course, ignorance and prejudice take their tole and the whole story is turned on its tale. I really enjoyed this read and would recommend it to lovers of retellings. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
"Barnum knew, better than anyone, that human tendency to want to believe, to want see the extraordinary." Told in third-person narration in three alternating perspectives, The Mermaid is an enchanting piece of historical fiction that looks into P.T. Barnum's Feejee Mermaid Hoax of the 1840s. The world Henry crafted is one where the mermaid - Amelia Douglas - was real, and a willing participant in the exhibitions in order to earn money and see the world of humans. Amelia is a restless mermaid that wants to explore the world, leaving her world behind to explore the unknown. I really enjoyed the "simple magic" of transforming from mermaid to human; it made sense, wasn't overly complicated, and seemed plausible. This book is more complex than one might think at the surface. It is more than a mermaid falling in love and leaving her world under the sea behind, more than wanting to believe in the extraordinary, and more than a piece of historical fiction on P.T. Barnum, more than a love story. It is a feminist tale of a strong woman thrust into a world that she was enchanted with and learning the harsh realities of that world. I appreciated the juxtaposition that Henry created by challenging the problematic aspects of the time period through Amelia's eyes. As an outsider, Amelia struggles with the disillusionment of seeing the reality of humanity: through the treatment/expectations of women in the period and in how people view her as less than human. We all know that I enjoy strong female characters, and I absolutely adored how Amelia was unwavering in her own beliefs. I struggled a bit with Barnum's point of view; I didn't connect with it. I know it was there to provide insight into the character, and how all he really cared about was money and success, but that was abundantly clear through the other perspectives. For me it was a bit jarring and disengaged me from the story. I was left wanting a bit of worldbuilding - I would have loved a some description of the life Amelia left behind and what being a mermaid among her people is like. "Freedom was far more intoxicating than safety could ever be." I enjoyed the cast of characters and their varying reactions to seeing a real mermaid, reflecting on the various reactions people would encounter when seeing something they thought was untrue. But Henry adds another layer of complexity on that, because each character has to reconcile this new knowledge with the woman they had come to know personally. I will admit that there is something about the writing style that I cannot place that isn't to my liking beyond Barnum's POV, but I was so captivated by the plot that I didn't mind the writing style too much. This was a 5 star plot for me, but the writing style wasn't for me personally. The Mermaid is an engaging, fast-paced read that has a bit of everything: supernatural and magical elements, a bit of romance that supplements rather than centers on the story, and complex characters that cannot be easily categorized. This is mostly a character driven story that doesn't delve much into describing the physical world. Recommended for fans of mythological creatures and historical fiction; who doesn't love a good mermaid story? Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me an e-arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.
What can I say about The Mermaid? After reading Lost Boy, I had really high expectations, and, sadly, they weren’t met. This isn’t to say that I didn’t find some enjoyment within the story, but it was not a 5 star read for me. I really wanted to love this one. I loved bits and pieces of it, but as a whole, it just didn’t satisfy me. I loved Amelia and her strength. I loved Caroline and her childish innocence, and I loved how Christina Henry highlighted the problems of the time period where women were treated like property and not given the power and respect they deserved, but that was the extent of my love for the story. The writing felt off. Chapter one was super hard to read because it switched back and forth from the fisherman and Amelia without enough clarity, and there was a lot of repetition. There was quite a bit of redundancy throughout the whole story, and it just didn’t feel unique. Barnum’s character was very un-enjoyable because of his greed and attitude toward. The love interest felt under-developed and really superficial, and there just wasn’t much that kept me excited. A lot of the story felt rushed too. Especially the ending. There were a couple time jumps that just felt out of place, and I was left wanting to know more about how things resolved in the end, and what happened with the main characters. Overall I was left wanting. Yes it had a mermaid, which is a huge love of mine, but there wasn’t enough revolving around the mermaid to make me love it. I felt like the mermaid could have been anything or anyone placed in the story. There wasn’t enough magic to make me rave about it. It was worth a read, but I wouldn’t rate it higher than 2.5 to 3 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.