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Mermaids on the Moon Kindle Edition

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Length: 272 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this wonderfully quirky debut novel, 35-year-old France's mother, Grendy, inexplicably disappears from Mermaid City, Fla., where she has been performing with a small group of former "mermaids," leaving a note to her husband, a minister, claiming she has "to find herself." France leaves her home in Cedar Valley, Ind., and her charmingly offbeat, "downwardly mobile" boyfriend, Bruno, an artist who sculpts wooden dolls, to search for her mother. She remembers Grendy once saying, "Everything gets clear underwater. I'm happier underwater than I've ever been on land. It's my salvation." During France's journey, she, too, finds enlightenment underwater when she befriends her mother's mermaid performers and briefly becomes one herself. She also connects with her nephew, Theo (a young boy being raised by Grendy), who has singular emotional and behavioral problems. Stuckey-French, whose first collection of short stories, The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, was praised for its refreshing originality, brings brio and charm to this delightful, unique tale of self-discovery. Her spot-on descriptions sparkle with creativity and humor. One of Grendy's friends has "eyes... rimmed with an unfortunate shade of blue eye shadow." At one point in her search, France is desperate enough to go to a town known for its community of psychics and observes, "There should be a rule against mediums wearing polyester." The author's talent for creating unconventional characters and her clear insight into human nature converge in this page-turning tale centered around a group of older women who become young again as they glide and cavort in a special underwater world where fantasy and reality rarely collide.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In this first novel by the author of the critically acclaimed The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa, and Other Stories, France searches for her missing mother, Grendy, who performs as a mermaid at a Florida synchronized swim theme park. Is Grendy a victim of foul play, or did she run off with a trucker? Accompanied by her winsome, autistic nephew, France investigates the disappearance. Convinced that she'll find Grendy by hanging out with her pals, she joins the show, only to learn from the mermaid sisterhood that her mother was man-crazy and suffered guilt after a long-ago accidental death of a fellow swimmer. The search leads France into the thickets of her own life as she is confronted by memories ugly and sweet of Grendy, who was happiest under water; her minister father, who is full of infidelities and ploys; and her troubled, deceased sister. Stuckey-French writes in a funny, whimsical style, reminiscent of Fannie Flagg, creating endearing, quirky characters. As refreshing, crisp, and tangy as a summer drink, this is a beguiling read. Recommended for all public libraries. Molly Gorman, San Marino, CA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 304 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (July 8, 2003)
  • Publication Date: July 8, 2003
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000Q67IJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,403 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Elizabeth Stuckey-French is the author of two novels, The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady and Mermaids on the Moon, as well as a collection of short stories, The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa. With Janet Burroway and Ned Stuckey-French, she is a co-author of Writing Fiction: A Guide to the Narrative Craft. Her short stories have appeared in Narrative Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Gettysburg Review, Southern Review, Five Points, and The O'Henry Prize Stories. She has won a James Michener Fellowship, a Florida Book Award, and grants from the Howard Foundation, the Indiana Arts Foundation, and the Florida Arts Foundation She teaches fiction writing at Florida State University.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By MSlife on March 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book was so refreshing! I initially bought it because I have always had a fascination with the "mermaid city" my mom has always told me stories of that she used to visit as a child in Florida. I even decorated my room as a child from her vintage postcards from Weeki Wachi Springs, FL (I am assuming this novel is based on this place). I adored reading this book. The characters are so fun and you really get to know them, you want to be their friend, you want to be a "merhag". This is a perfect read for your day at the pool or on your next beach vacation! I can't wait for her next novel!
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Format: Paperback
France, a 30-something divorced woman, gets a call from her father, North, saying that her mother, Grendy, has disappeared. Although North seems unconcerned--Grendy has left a note, and North expects that she'll be back eventually--France decides that she needs to find her mother, and so she travels down to Florida to do so. Gerdy had been performing a water show with a small group of other older "mermaids" who have revived their girlhood careers. France is drawn to these women, certain that the answers to her mother's disappearance lie underwater. During her search, France is faced with the care of Theo, the 6-year old son of her deceased sister who appears to have major behavioral problems. In addition, she finds herself confronting the past, including her father's transgressions, her sister's untimely death, and her own mistakes, including an unhappy marriage.
This is an interesting story filled with quirky characters. Some, like France's long-time boyfriend, Bruno, make only brief appearances, whereas others, such as the mermaids, are more fully developed. At times, the relationships amongst the characters are a bit muddled--for example, France seems to be annoyed with Bruno most of the time, yet she frequently mentions how happy he makes her, which is not clearly reflected in the storyline. Overall, however, this book is a quick read that's both unique and enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Achrazoglou on September 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book--I could especially relate to Theo, who is so much like my son (who has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism.) I'll recommend this one for my book club & also for the Asperger's group. Great read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. M. Murray on September 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. If a place like Mermaid City doesn't already exist, it should! The only complaint I have, is Fran's relationship with Bruno wasn't really developed, but the rest of the characters make up for it. I also enjoyed Sisterwoman, and wish she had used that more, but the stories she told with her, really contributed to the story and character development. I highly recommend this book, especially since it is a very quick read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Lamarche on January 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Elizabeth Stuckey-French combines the quirkiness of pop culture with the seriousness of coming to terms with oneself in this novel, which engages the reader from the first word to the last. Complex characters, vivid settings and descriptions, and ever increasing tension make this one of the best stories I've read in a long time. I had a hard time putting it down and strongly recommend it. I look forward to reading more of this talented author's work.
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