Thoughts on Carolyn Turgeon’s Mermaid
At exactly 3:48am EST on 6/10/11, I surprised myself by finishing up the second half of this novel in one sitting. If you’ve never read the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson I suggest you read it either before or after to evaluate the differences and similarities between the two stories.
While I believe in concept, Turgeon’s take on the classic tale is quite similar, it is the depth with which she delves into the story that makes it special. Even though it’s a fairly short book, it is still much longer than the original and is almost predictable yet it has a way of reeling you in, making you yearn for the next page.
Princess Margrethe of the North and mermaid Princess Lenia both fall in love with Prince Christopher of the South. Margrethe can’t be with him because their kingdoms are enemies. Lenia can’t be with him because her world is forbidden from human contact. Despite the consequences, both find a way to have a chance at winning his love. But how exactly will it end for the two leading ladies that are equally matched?
Mermaid is insightful, and enchanting with a sprinkle of naughty. In the end, I was no longer fixated on the actual plot but instead sat thought provoked at the general history of mermaids.
The legends, myths, folktales, and fairytales have been being told for centuries all over the world, changing a little with every new story telling. Those that long for the sea, find fascination in it and the magic that they dream exists below are special people.
Turgeon writes that once upon a time, the world was all sea and we were all one race -merpeople until the King had a fight with the Queen resulting in him splitting the world into land and sea creating legs for himself so he could walk upon it. I’d like to agree with Turgeon’s narration and believe that I’ve descended from a mermaid, and it’s the reason that I have such a strong affinity for them in comparison to others. And perhaps, even those of you reading this will agree that we all still hold a part of that once upon a time. Where others fail to see magic, we transcend it with our senses.
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