The Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn

Synopsis: Jenny Lipkin is an average, stretched-too-thin Brooklyn mom, tackling the challenges of raising two children in a cramped Park Slope walk-up and bonding with the other moms about breastfeeding while spending endless hours in Prospect Park. All she really wants is to survive the sweltering New York summer with a shred of sanity intact. But when her husband Harry, a compulsive gambler, vanishes one evening without a word, Jenny finally reaches her breaking point. And in a moment of despair, a split second decision changes her life forever. Pulled from the brink by an unexpected (and, as it turns out, sometimes annoying) supernatural ally, Jenny is forced to rethink her ideas about success, motherhood, romance and relationships. Confronting her inner demons—of both the mermaid and non-mermaid variety—is no easy task, and eventually Jenny has to come to terms with who she truly is, for better or worse.

Review : Wow this book is not what I expected at all and yet I did not have many things in mind. After reading a book about mermaids, I really wanted to find another one. I must say that we do not find a lot novels featuring them and I wanted to learn more. But this book is not like that, even far from that. It is not a pretty story about a mythical character, but rather a psychological drama about the life of a young mother.

Jenny is a young woman who is depressed but raises her two children, two girls quite agitated like all children, but she loves them with all her heart. But one day, her husband Harry, who was on his way to go home, doesn’t return and the Jenny’s life is turned upside down beyond recognition. Poor thing, it was already very difficult for her, but she must now manage everything alone. It even goes to the point where she decides to commit suicide, but while jumping from a bridge, she sees herself saved by the spirit of a mermaid who installs herself as a parasite in her body. We do not know much about this being, but the spirit will advise our heroine, or try to help her to survive day by day. I must say that I wondered if this siren was a manifestation of her subconscious, a manifestation of desires that could help her to survive to this life. And even at the end of the novel I could not really say, but it is nevertheless something that makes us think. We follow Jenny, the mother faces her doubts, her love, her desire to live, difficulties in daily life. Do not expect to have something paranormal or full of action, because this is really not the case.

We wonder what could have happened to Harry, he left and he thus abandoned everything and everyone behind him. It hurts to see her like that but she realizes that nobody has a perfect life and she is finally not alone to face this kind of reality.

So what about the story? I had a lot of trouble to get into it, it’s interesting, sad, but it is also very long. It is quite difficult to focus on what is happening, especially since as I said we don’t have a lot of action but we still appreciate Jenny and try to understand her. Yet at the end of the book, I’m quite surprised to see that I did not agree with her choice, but I understand them but this is not what I wanted for her. This book shows that it is actually quite difficult to always be happy in life and we need to compromise. This is not the kind of book I would usually read, but it was interesting to see something different. But I am a little depressed by this read as it shows us that life is ultimately not a long quiet river. I would, however, wish a lot of happiness to Jenny, hoping she gets to be happy.


8 thoughts on “The Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn

  1. Sounds like it was a good idea, but the execution was just off. Sometimes that happens. I would have thought “mermaid!” just like you did. Too bad.

    Have you tried Fred the Mermaid books by Mary Janice Davidson? I’ve read the first 2 and I love them!

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