4.5 out of 5
In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian, Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie’s healing potions; by night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara’s favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O’Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree.
One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister’s skin: Maren is becoming a mermaid and must be taken to the sea or she will die. So Clara, O’Neill, and the mermaid-girl set out for the shore. But the trio encounters trouble around every bend. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening Maren.
And always in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, if my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?
“Wishes can’t change the world”
What a wonderfully written coming of age story all wrapped up in a fairy tale! Clara has spent her life hearing the stories of how her sister was found in a shell and she was brought by a stork. So, if her sister was found in a shell and was bound to become a mermaid, shouldn’t she then be bound to become a bird? The entire tale is woven as if it’s based on trying to save Maren as she slowly transforms into a mermaid, but really it’s all about who Clara is, and who she will become when she no longer has her sister to hide behind.
The beautiful language and descriptions really made me feel like a part of the story. I could see the world, taste the food and feel the vibrancy,
“Rain patters on the roof of the wagon like the dancing feet of a hundred happy elves.”
The characters were all amazingly detailed from Clara and Maren’s wise Aunt with her age old wisdom,
“Not to worry, my girl. One chicken cannot sit on the whole world’s eggs.”
To Scarff, the travelling peddler, who felt like he had experienced so much, and lived longer than we could ever imagine,
“If I were to tell you how long ago this tale begins, you would doubt the entire telling of it.”
If you love classic fairy tales, then you will definitely love this timelessly lyrical novel!
In the wake of her checkered past as a theatre student, restaurant hostess, certified nurse aide, and newspaper writer, Carrie now writes novels and short stories. She lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with her tolerant husband, charming children, two naughty cats, a not-so-bright dog, and seven really-not-so-bright chickens. The chickens do not live in the house. You can read her blog at http://www.carrienoble.com.
The Mermaid’s Sister is Best Served with a Port Side Pilsner
One of my favourite beer from a local brewery, that just so happens to have a Mermaid in the can AND is a Pilsner. Which is amazingly coincidental, because this book has a character (a Raven) named Pilsner, and is all about a mermaid!!