The Mermaid’s Sister

2014 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Young Adult Fiction

There is no cure for being who you truly are…

In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie’s healing potions. By night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara’s favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O’Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree.

One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister’s skin. She realizes that Maren is becoming a mermaid—and knows that no mermaid can survive on land. Desperate to save her, Clara and O’Neill place the mermaid-girl in their gypsy wagon and set out for the sea. But no road is straight, and the trio encounters trouble around every bend. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening mermaid.

And always, in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, if my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. In summary, a pretty cliche faerie tale but well done and a safe read for the young adults in your life I chose this book as my Kindle Firsts selection for the month of February. Here are my notes from the book. 

  2. A Charming Fairy Tale What drew me to The Mermaid’s Sister as one of my Kindle First choices this month was the editor’s description which speaks of “the unique power of fantasy stories, which combine impossible worlds with very real questions.” She then compares the book to fantasy classics like The Lord of the Rings, The Golden Compass, and The Princess Bride. And although the author, Carrie Anne Noble, is no match (at least yet) for Tolkien, Pullman, or Goldman, she does provide a charming fairy tale about the…

  3. Traditional Folk Tale and Dialogue-Driven Linguistics at Odds with Present Tense Writing I have to commend Carrie Anne Noble on capturing quite exquisitely the inherent narrative rhythms and cadences of oral folktales and bedtime fairytales. The very stylistic arrangement of heavy dialogue, minimal expositional description, and formal (yet not quite archaic) wording is quite faithful to the classical traditions. Perhaps Noble chose the first person, present tense as the story’s main vehicle in order to create a distinct demarcation from such formulaic linguistics, yet I had hoped I…

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