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The Mermaid Collector Paperback – October 2, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An elegant and enchanting story about rescuing ourselves by saving each other, and a beautiful reminder of the magic and mystery we hold in our hearts.”—Eleanor Brown, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Weird Sisters

“Magical! The Mermaid Collector had me immediately transported to the windswept cove at Cradle Harbor, feeling the mist on my face and the sand under my feet—and looking for mermaids at every turn.”—Sarah Jio, Author of The Violets of March and The Bungalow

And praise for Erika Marks' Little Gale Gumbo

“Spicy, delicious, and filled with surprises.”—Adriana Trigiani, New York Times Bestselling Author of Don’t Sing at the Table

“A debut like this doesn’t come along often—this is women’s fiction to be savored...a winner.”—Library Journal (Starred Review)  

About the Author

On the winding road to publishing, Erika Marks has worked as a carpenter, an illustrator, an art director for a woodworking magazine, and a cake decorator. A native New Englander, raised in Maine, she now lives and writes love stories set by the sea in North Carolina. She is the author of the novels LITTLE GALE GUMBO, THE MERMAID COLLECTOR, THE GUEST HOUSE, and IT COMES IN WAVES.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1 edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451237927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451237927
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #731,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

On the winding road to publishing, Erika Marks has worked as a carpenter, an illustrator, an art director for a woodworking magazine, and a cake decorator. A native New Englander, raised in Maine, she now lives and writes love stories set by the sea in North Carolina. She is the author of the novels LITTLE GALE GUMBO, THE MERMAID COLLECTOR, THE GUEST HOUSE, and IT COMES IN WAVES.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laura Kay on November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Is there a better backdrop for a story than the ocean, beaches, lighthouses and mermaids? I think not! Erika Marks brings to life a story of The Mermaid Mutiny of 1888 to life with Lydia and Linus Harris. Linus is the lighthouse keeper in Cradle Harbor, Maine in 1887. Together they are simply a young couple setting up a home and hoping to start a family. When an unfathomable event occurs---changes everything for this couple and the town.

A century later, the legend of Lydia and Linus lives on and is celebrated with a Mermaid Festival. For Tess Patterson this is a magical time. Tess is a local artist who recently was commissioned to make a mermaid wood carved statue for the town.

Tess is looking for acceptance from the townspeople with their noses in the air. Whereas Tom Grace (new in town) isn't looking to please the community of Cradle Harbor. He just wants a fresh start for himself and younger brother, Dean.

Tom and Tess make the perfect couple, but is their desire to change their pasts going to doom their future?

I LOVED The Mermaid Collector! I had begun reading it the day before my dad passed away and finished it the week after his funeral. As I read the last few chapters, I couldn't put The Mermaid Collector down. Not only was this a fantastically written story, but Marks wrote with such truth. As I read at 3am in the morning tears fell.

Erika Marks did an amazing job of weaving the two stories together. I was completely taken in with Lydia's story. You get tid bits along the way, so you get an idea of how it will end---yet as it draws to a close you want a different ending! I just couldn't accept that was how it was going to end.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By littlemissrockstar on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tess, a 35 y/o woman, in the town of Cradle Harbor, Maine walks a fine line between wanting to be accepted by the townfolk and wanting to tell the townfolk off for never accepting her or her free-spirited artist mother. Tess, however, is on the verge of being accepted by town- they've asked her to create a mermaid sculpture for the Mermaid festival.

Tom Grace, a young man who inherits the prized lightkeepers house along with his brother, Dean- learns quickly that certain townfolks are not hospitable to newcomers- especially when they wanted the lighthouse to be kept for histroical reason.

Tom and Tess meet- Tess with her magical ways, believer in astrology and signs and Tom, a practical and steady guy- will it be a case of opposites-attract? Will they both have found something they desperately need in the other?

The Mermaid Collector alternates between today's voice and the 1887's- weaving the plot lines together to make an interesting story of love, trust, forgiveness, mistakes, and the magical things of everyday life- into a tale that is hard to put down and will leave the reader in a happy place.

Highly recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chelsey Lynn on November 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have found such a treasure in a new author and her amazing work of literature! Not to mention she is a local author as well. I cannot convey my enthusiasm about this book, but I am going to try as I put my thoughts into this book review. This book was full of history, love, and even a tad bit of mystery. I enjoyed every single aspect about this book and am so hungry for more. I am going to encourage readers now to go and pick up a copy of this book because I cannot wait until I get to the end of this review to do so!

Erika Marks is highly talented as a writer and I say this because she did something successfully that I am usually not a fan of in any book. She paralleled two stories that happened in two completely different time periods and had several different main characters. She did this flawlessly! In one story readers are given present day Cradle Harbor, Maine, and in another story readers are given a story from 1887 that explains the legend of the Mermaid Mutiny and the lives of Linus and Lydia Harris. Essentially we are given two amazing love stories for the price of one! Erika, you are an absolute literary genius!

Linus and Lydia Harris was the young couple that were lighthouse keepers in Cradle Harbor, Maine in 1887 and there story is not one to be missed. The mystery/ghost story that I referred to comes from these two. Their story is raw and emotional and yes, highly eerie, so much that it gave me chills. I loved Lydia and her devotion to her husband even though she had a strong dislike for the sea. She had to love him, right? I loved Lydia's character the most and I was so drawn to her story. Erika weaves in a beautiful piece of history by including the lives of Linus and Lydia.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Thirtyish woodcarver Tess Patterson has a schizoid relationship with her hometown of Cradle Harbor, Maine. On the one hand, the artist wants to leave without looking back; while on the other she desperately needs acceptance from the townsfolk who consider her a chip off her bohemian mom who committed suicide years ago by walking into the ocean.

Tom Grace thinks he might as well be dead ever since his parents died when he was eighteen and saddled with caring for his foolish brother Dean. He inherits the town's historic lighthouse, which he thinks is his Hail Mary last attempt at helping his addicted sibling.

When Tess and Tom meet, they share a night of bliss with both wanting more. Meanwhile the town celebrates the annual Mermaid Mutiny of 1888 when four men including the lighthouse keeper strolled into the ocean to join their mermaid lovers.

This is an engaging poignant character study that looks at the benefits and costs of fulfilling dreams especially those that cripple a person mentally. Although a major subplot seems unnecessary padding, fans will appreciate this deep tale that deftly switches between the present and the late nineteenth century as desires can lead to self-esteem or self-destruction.

Harriet Klausner
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