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Publisher's Summary

A modern-day expansion of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, this unforgettable debut novel weaves a spellbinding tale of magic and the power of love as a descendent of the original mermaid fights the terrible price of saving herself from a curse that has affected generations of women in her family.

Kathleen has always been dramatic. She suffers from the bizarre malady of experiencing stabbing pain in her feet. On her 16th birthday, she woke screaming from the sensation that her tongue had been cut out. No doctor can find a medical explanation for her pain, and even the most powerful drugs have proven useless. Only the touch of seawater can ease her pain, and just temporarily at that.

Now Kathleen is a 25-year-old opera student in Boston and shows immense promise as a soprano. Her girlfriend, Harry, a mezzo in the same program, worries endlessly about Kathleen's phantom pain and obsession with the sea. Kathleen's mother and grandmother both committed suicide as young women, and Harry worries they suffered from the same symptoms. When Kathleen suffers yet another dangerous breakdown, Harry convinces Kathleen to visit her hometown in Ireland to learn more about her family history.

In Ireland, they discover that the mystery - and the tragedy - of Kathleen's family history is far older and stranger than they could have imagined. Kathleen's fate seems sealed, and the only way out is a terrible choice between a mermaid's two sirens - the sea and her lover. But both choices mean death.

Haunting and lyrical, The Mermaid's Daughter asks: How far we will go for those we love? And can the transformative power of music overcome a magic that has prevailed for generations?

©2017 Ann Claycomb (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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The little mermaid

Love love loved it! What a wining combination- a fairy tale come to life, opera and Irish story tellers!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • kimma
  • 19-09-2017

Avoid this pretentious melodramatic snoozefest

This novel goes nowhere. I have been trying to complete this novel for over a week and I have a boring tedious job that allows us to listen to headphones but, I have been turning this book off prefering to suffer in silence. Here are the straight facts regarding why I dislike this book.
#1 None of the characters are likeable or memorable. Their dialouge feels forced and dry.
#2 The primary love story has no feeling and is also dry. The starcrossed lesbian lovers evoke absolutely no passion. #3 The main character is whiny dramatic annoying and this does not enhance the storyline. #4 The mermaid theme was underexplored. All we heard about was her feet pain and her toungue pain blah, blah. #5 The author tried to be so deep by revolving the whole story around opera and comparing everything to operatic things but it was not that deep. It was boring and pretentious.#5 The author used tons of descriptions about mundane things that did not add to the story. Avoid, Avoid,Avoid. Normally I hate that I am blowing thru my audiobooks too fast, hah not with this one.
The narrator was not bad, not great. I did not like the story being told from multiple person's point of view either. I did not like this book. I would not recommend or reread.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Whitney
  • 05-05-2017

An old friend with a makeover

I loved it! The story of the little mermaid taken and spun into a beautiful web of history, music, and magic. A new classic. I'm sure I'll reread it again and again.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ylluria
  • 05-03-2018

A Story We've Needed for a Long, Long Time

While I may not always like the protagonist 100 (though constantly being in searing pain can do that to you), I freaking LOVED this story. It's about singers and mermaids and seal-folk and magic and outside of Clive Barker's "Imagica," is the first book I've read in a long, loooong time that had an LGBTQ love interest. (Let alone *gasp* a lesbian one!!) ♥♥♥ This was BEAUTIFULLY & powerfully written, and the retelling/continuation of a beloved classic was deeply wonderful. The writing style where magical elements were directly experienced, expressed n' encountered were particularly beautifully crafted, with poignant, shining, illustrative moments that I just wanted to go on and on and on. The love story was artfully and beautifully told, the characters wonderful and tangible, and overall, I positively freaking LOVED this book. (Getting an especial giggle that by the end of the story the lead voice actor was having trouble NOT speaking in an Irish accent. ;)) I want to hear MORE about the magical folk in this author's underwater realm.. to hear MORE about Kathleen, the witches n' the selchies' adventures under the sea! ^_^ Every time the author wrote about these elements the writing style was just.. perfection. Like pure poetry, disguised as "regular" prose. ♥♥♥ And I'm still rooting for her and Harry. ♥♥

The only thing I'd change about this novel would be putting the HCA story/postscript about Fand at the -beginning- of the book, rather than the end. It'd make the rest of the story make a lot more sense, feel more real, & offer a firmer, more linear history that would take us more relatably from the past to the present. In other words, it'd give the reader a better foundation for the reader to grok the main, present-day portion of the story IMO,while lending a more tangible, relatable insight into Kathleen's world- in all senses of the word. :) Plus, it'd give Kathleen's ending a nice finishing touch to the book, that the reader could savor and ruminate on cherishingly, once the story was over. :)

But that's just me. :) And no matter its structure, I still LOVED this book. The magical flavor, the creativity in exploring the underwater denizens & mythos, the nod/s to chronic illness, the capturing of the singing/theatrical world, the queer main cast.. I just.. loved it. Thank you, to the author, the marvelous narrators, and everyone who helped make this new take on an old story come alive. ♥♥♥

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  • Theresa
  • 26-11-2017

Not what I imagined from the synopsis.

The book offered a unique perspective, but seemed dry. It could have just been the way in which the actors read each section.

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  • Stacy A Young
  • 04-10-2017

Delightful!

I enjoyed this book thoroughly and did not want it to end. Now I will dream of someday hearing the music and seeing this on the big screen. So beautiful and well-written.

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  • Jackie T
  • 04-06-2018

Loved it!,

I really loved this story. I found it interesting and easy to listen to. It was read beautifully.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-04-2017

loved it! I just got lost in the story .brilliant

I just couldn't stop listening.. And the way the story was woven.. truly beautiful and tragic , yet not.