With two children under the age of three, Jenny Lipkin is the typical Park Ridge stay-at-home mom, her days spent meeting with other parents in the park, her evenings spent wrangling her daughters and the household chores. Then one night her compulsive-gambler husband fails to return home. Struggling with depression and caught between being worried and angry, Jenny can barely drag herself out of bed in the morning, let alone care for her daughters, deal with her in-laws, or think about how she’ll pay for their Park Ridge apartment. Finally at the end of her rope, Jenny decides on a drastic plunge, only the outcome is not at all what she expects. As Jenny reinvents herself in the face of her family’s crisis, Shearn takes readers on an emotional journey through the social milieu of Brooklyn, where the setting itself rounds out the colorful cast of characters. Though whiny at the beginning, Jenny eventually discovers a witty humor that comes to life as her story progresses, creating a heartfelt and authentic tribute to motherhood that will resonate with contemporary moms. --Cortney Ophoff
“Amy Shearn’s second novel charmingly blends the magical with the real. … Funny, fearless, and unexpectedly moving, this modern fairy tale is, in a word, enchanting.”
“In this sly and wise new novel … Shearn captures both the beauty and the banality of parenthood. We spend most of this delightful, grown-up fairy tale wondering if the mermaid is real or a figment of Jenny's imagination—or her id. Regardless, she leaves us wondering how to bring a little mermaid magic into our own lives.”
"A blend of Park Slope parenting and magic."
(New York Times Motherlode
"There are many laughs to be found, but most come from the dark recesses of the heart, where laughter barely conquers tears. . . . Fans of acerbic humor should enjoy The Mermaid of Brooklyn."
(New York Journal of Books
"The Mermaid of Brooklyn is an engaging and quirky read. . . . [A] witty tale of self-discovery."
(New York Family
"A total treat that will . . . make you realize motherhood is overwhelming, funny and fantastic—in fiction, too!"
"[A] whimsical modern-day fable . . . There’s no doubt that Shearn is gifted, crafting quirky and charming prose."
“Shearn’s narrative is delightfully manic and extremely witty. …The author possesses a gift for infusing a mundane situation (an abandoned housewife) with the implausible (a mermaid) and building a story that many readers will find intuitive, clever and, on many levels, perfectly believable.”
“A heartfelt and authentic tribute to motherhood that will resonate with contemporary moms.”
“A fierce and vivacious book about motherhood, astounding in itshonesty, fearless in its humor, and exploding with love.”
(Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette)
“I absolutely loved this inventive, smartly written tale of astruggling single mother who finds herself seeing her life through neweyes--those of a lusty, fearless and frequently wise mermaid eager to take onall the world has to offer. Insightful and engaging.”
(Jill Smolinski, author of Objects of My Affection and The Next Thing on My List)
“An absorbing, energetically offbeat novel that merits attention.”
(Kansas City Star