The Mermaid by Christina Henry | Review

     ¡Hola, mi gente! Today I’m coming at you with a post I’m very excited about. I’m going to be reviewing an amazing book, a jewel of a book and that is, The Mermaid by Christina Henry.

36358268    I discovered this book thanks to booktube. They sold me this story as a Little Mermaid retelling and considering how this author is famous for her retellings, I bought it. But this isn’t true at all. I do see the connection some might make but saying that it’s a retelling is completely wrong.

This story is about a mermaid called Amelia. She was not happy with her safe life in the ocean and decides to look for adventure. She then meets a fisherman named Jack and they fall in love. They end up living together for many years until she loses him to the sea.

She loved him almost as much as she loved the sea, and so they were well matched, for he loved the sea almost as much as he loved her.

     After mourning and waiting for him for years in their very small town, she decides to once again search for adventure. That’s how she ends up in P.T. Barnum’s museum.

This story feels like two stories in one and both are amazing in their own unique way. The first part does read like a fairytale, which is why I think people like to call it a fairytale retelling, but the other part completely strays away from that vibe. Normally when we think of historical fiction we think of World War II but here we have the story of the Fiji Mermaid, P.T. Barnum, and his museum. It’s historical fiction, yes, but with a touch of fantasy.

Both the story and the way it’s written will suck you in and not let go. Her writing style is just my cup of tea. It was simple, straightforward, and atmospheric. All of this without making it less beautiful. This book might be considered a simple story about a mermaid and a museum but in reality, it’s a beautifully written story used to question society, not just during the 1840s which is when the story takes place, but also now in 2019. After all, not much has changed.

The themes she touches on will make you question what you were taught, but for the best. We are first introduced to the theme of mourning. How it feels to lose someone you love and not know what to do next. Then we are bombarded with the talk of freedom, women’s bodies, women’s place in society, religion, and how we treat that or those we don’t consider “normal.” I don’t want to make this too long so I’m just going to summarize it. To Amelia freedom is all she ever known until she starts working at the museum. Freedom is also her naked body. She couldn’t understand how women were shamed for something as natural as their bodies.

“Until I became human, nobody ever told me there was something wrong with my body.”

     Amelia was an outsider. All she had known was the ocean and her life in their tiny house isolated from the rest of the town. That’s why when she moves to New York City she is shocked at how women were treated. She could not understand why they were treated like possession and were forced to act a certain way even if it meant they were unhappy.

“Women who did what they liked instead of what other people wished were often accused of witchcraft, because only a witch would be so defiant, or so it was thought.”

     Amelia did not believe in God and did not understand religion. She was constantly questioning how people choose to believe in something they can’t see and how they feel the necessity to force those beliefs down other people’s throats. She especially questions this when she learns about how the “civilized” people felt like they had to make “savages” civilized mostly by forcing them to follow their beliefs.

     For this and so much more I loved Amelia as a character. Well, I loved all of the characters. They’re one of the reasons why I adored this book. In this story, we have four characters that carry the stories and each one was great in their own way.

P.T. Barnum, he was money-hungry, mean, and did not care about anyone, not even his family. All he cared about was his pride, his museum, and money. He couldn’t care less about doing the right thing. If it didn’t help him acquire riches then it was just an obstacle that he needed to get rid off. He was a terrible person yet I loved him. I did not want him to win but I enjoyed hating him.

Levi, he was the complete opposite of P.T. Barnum. He was honest and caring with those around him. He did not care about money and would always defend the performers. His relationship with Barnum was interesting as he was his opposite and always wanted to do the right thing.

Amelia, she was curious, she was headstrong, she would not let society put her down, she would not and did not want to, fit in with the human society, and she knew her worth. She was not afraid of speaking her mind and of demanding what she knew she deserved. She wouldn’t take shit from anybody. She was just such a powerful character, a true feminist.

Charity, she was the perfect example of how women were forced to act in this society. It was heartbreaking seeing her accept this kind of treatment and trying to fit in the standards that women were forced upon. Still, she’s a character you can’t help but love.

_____

     Well, that was my review of The Mermaid by Christina Henry. I hope I’ve convinced you to read it because it’s worth every second. Buy it, borrow it from a friend, or check it out from the library, I don’t care but please give it a chance. If I convinced you don’t forget to add it on Goodreads.

Thank you for sticking all the way ’till the end and

HAPPY READINGS!

2 thoughts on “The Mermaid by Christina Henry | Review

  1. Okay but now I have to go read this 😍😍😍 it sounds perfect – I mean, mermaids and The Greatest Showman? What could be better 🤷🏼‍♀️ beautiful review 😍🙌🏻

    Like

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