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The Mermaid's Daughter
by Ann Claycomb


Overview -

A modern-day expansion of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid , this unforgettable debut novel weaves a spellbinding tale of magic and the power of love as a descendent of the original mermaid fights the terrible price of saving herself from a curse that has affected generations of women in her family.  Read more...


 
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More About The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb
 
 
 
Overview

A modern-day expansion of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, this unforgettable debut novel weaves a spellbinding tale of magic and the power of love as a descendent of the original mermaid fights the terrible price of saving herself from a curse that has affected generations of women in her family.

Kathleen has always been dramatic. She suffers from the bizarre malady of experiencing stabbing pain in her feet. On her sixteenth birthday, she woke screaming from the sensation that her tongue had been cut out. No doctor can find a medical explanation for her pain, and even the most powerful drugs have proven useless. Only the touch of seawater can ease her pain, and just temporarily at that.

Now Kathleen is a twenty-five-year-old opera student in Boston and shows immense promise as a soprano. Her girlfriend Harry, a mezzo in the same program, worries endlessly about Kathleen's phantom pain and obsession with the sea. Kathleen's mother and grandmother both committed suicide as young women, and Harry worries they suffered from the same symptoms. When Kathleen suffers yet another dangerous breakdown, Harry convinces Kathleen to visit her hometown in Ireland to learn more about her family history.

In Ireland, they discover that the mystery--and the tragedy--of Kathleen's family history is far older and stranger than they could have imagined. Kathleen's fate seems sealed, and the only way out is a terrible choice between a mermaid's two sirens--the sea, and her lover. But both choices mean death...

Haunting and lyrical, The Mermaid's Daughter asks--how far we will go for those we love? And can the transformative power of music overcome a magic that has prevailed for generations?


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062560681
  • ISBN-10: 0062560689
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company
  • Publish Date: March 2017
  • Page Count: 448
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2017-01-30
  • Reviewer: Staff

The tale of the Little Mermaid may be well-known, but dont look for the Disneyfied version in Claycombs fine debut. Here, the story swirls around Kathleen Conarn, a young student learning opera at conservatory. Shes not just any music student, but an amazing soprano from a family of musical talents (her Irish-born father, Robin, is a famous composer). Kathleen has always experienced extreme pain piercing the bottom of her feet and, strangely, the only thing that temporarily soothes her is seawater. She feels a strong connection to the sea, though her mother drowned herself in Ireland when Kathleen was just a baby. When it turns out that the women in Kathleens family have had a history of suicidal acts near the sea for more than a few generations, the situation begins to smell fishy, and Kathleens girlfriend, Harry (short for Harriet), wants to take her to Ireland to see if they can uncover some truth about Kathleens family history and her suffering. Claycomb structures the book into three acts, like an opera, and deftly switches between Kathleens and Harrys voicespunctuated by Robins Composer Notesto create the effect of singers baring their souls. Written with attention to musicality and the murmuring backdrop of the incessant ocean, this inventive story captures the mystery, tragic loss, and beauty of Hans Christian Andersens original mermaid tale while thoughtfully and passionately updating it. (Mar.)

 
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