Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Review and Thanks for The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey

This post was done for Beth Revis's website and a contest to win 19 books! Visit Beth Revis for your chance to win and post which book you're most thankful for reading.

Title: The Mermaids Singing

Author: Lisa Carey

Publisher: Harper

Publication Date: 1998

Genre: Young Adult/Adult

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, here is a review I chose carefully when asked the question what book are you most thankful for.
I grew up on the east coast, moved away for college and after graduation, found myself 3,000 miles away on the other coast! There was one thing that I did after each move- buy my favorite books. It's costly to move, and so usually I had to leave  behind my beloved books in the last city. So after I settled back down, unpacked, I would run to the local bookstore to purchase a handful of my favorites, like a security blanket in written form.
This is the one of those books.

The story is about three generations of Irish women, growing up between Boston and Ireland. Cliona the harsh grandmother, Grace, the headstrong and stubborn mother and Grainne, the lost and confused teenage daughter who has just had her mother taken away from her. Through these three stories, I experienced everything from mad first love, passion, loss, and a deep sorrow. The first time I read this book, I cried. My heart ached. I fell in love. The characters are all well crafted and as they each tell their own story in their distinct voices, you can't help but think somehow you've started reading their diaries. 

I especially loved Grace's story, her feelings towards Grainne's father, her own internal struggles. Here was a modern woman suffering from what many of us do, the never-ending pull between traditional female roles and modern female empowerment. Grace is a selfish, self absorbed woman who also unconditionally loves her daughter and is passionately in love with her husband, making her a multi-layered character I wanted to slap and hug at the same time.

Carey's writing is lyrical and glides over the page. I found the novel to be beautiful with harsh realities, naked truths and satisfying redemption. In my opinion, it's one of the most underrated books out there. Many friends who I tell to read it have never heard of it. When that happens, I buy them a copy. Perhaps it has to do with the time I first picked it up, or carrying it around with me in a foreign city, or that time between high school and college when everything is laid before you but you're too excited and scared to move. For me, this book may represent all of that, or it may be just a beautifully crafted piece of literature I enjoy re-reading. 
Whatever the reason, it is one of the books I'm most thankful I have read. 

Rating 10 One of The Best


  1. I've never read this book. But it looks really good and I love Mermaids. :)

    What I'm grateful for.

  2. Hi Sarah! Thanks for the comment! The book is very good. I should warn there is some sex in it, but not used in a horrible way. I've seen this book classified as both Adult and YA, but I lean more towards Adult.
    I hope you enjoy it and please stop back to let me know what you thought!