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Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale Paperback – March 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
In Turgeon's surprisingly dark retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, two women pine for the affections of a prince: mermaid Lenia, who pulls Prince Christopher from the sea, and Margrethe, the princess of the rival kingdom, who witnesses the rescue from the convent where she hides from the war raging between their two kingdoms. Lenia, who falls instantly in love with the prince, sacrifices the sea, her voice, and her health to be with him on dry land. Meanwhile, Margrethe believes that marrying the prince would unite their kingdoms, but when she arrives to arrange it, she finds him already enraptured with Lenia. While he remains unaware that the girl he loves is also the mermaid who saved him, Margrethe recognizes her rival immediately and puts into motion a plan to send the ailing mermaid back to the sea and save her own ravaged kingdom. Turgeon has done a superb job of creating compelling characters and conflict from a story already familiar to readers. (Mar.)
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Turgeon refashions Hans Christian Andersen�s beloved classic, The Little Mermaid, into something altogether darker and more foreboding. When two women from two decidedly different worlds fall for the same prince, what else can ensue but heartache and misery? After rescuing a human from the sea, mermaid Princess Lenia falls hard for Prince Christopher, even agreeing to give up her beautiful voice and to endure the constant pain caused by her new legs in order to pursue him on dry land. Meanwhile, Princess Margrethe has also set her sights on the handsome prince in hopes of uniting their two warring kingdoms. With Lenia�s life on the line and war looming on the horizon, the prince�s choice is bound to have catastrophic consequences. More robust than a fractured fairy tale, Turgeon�s brooding retelling gives voice to both women, fleshing out an essentially tragic tale of destiny and desire. Not exactly a cozy bedtime story, but guaranteed to keep you guessing who�if anyone�will live happily ever after. --Margaret Flanagan
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Lenia the teenage mermaid who saved Christopher's life falls in love with him. Although she knows staying on land is fatal for her kind, she vows to remain with her beloved. At the same time Margrethe concludes that if she and the prince marry, the combat would end and unite their warring kingdoms. However, by the time she goes to the Prince to offer a marriage of political convenience, he seems to be in love with Lenia; though he fails to realize who she is. Margrethe plans to eliminate her rival by sending the ailing sea creature back to her watery home.
This is a terrific extremely dark twisting of the Hans Christian Andersen's classic The Little Mermaid as Carolyn Turgeon for the most part un Disney's the tale. The story line is at its best when the two women compete for the prince as their methods are different. Although the Sea Witch subplot feels out of place with the rest of the strong adult fairy tale, fans will relish the political spin to the Mermaid.
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I saw where this was heading as soon as there were two princesses, although the ending did surprise me a bit.Read more