- Title: The Mermaid's Child
- Author: Jo Baker
- ISBN: 9780099437826
- Page: 298
- Format: Paperback
Growing up motherless in an isolated community, Malin Reed has always been made to feel different from everybody else The fact that, according to Malin s father, the absent mother was actually a mermaid only makes matters worse When Malin s father dies, leaving behind nothing but his stories, Malin s choice at last becomes clear stay, and never feel at home, or leave anGrowing up motherless in an isolated community, Malin Reed has always been made to feel different from everybody else The fact that, according to Malin s father, the absent mother was actually a mermaid only makes matters worse When Malin s father dies, leaving behind nothing but his stories, Malin s choice at last becomes clear stay, and never feel at home, or leave and go in search of mermaids and the fantastical inheritance that, up to now, has always seemed completely out of reach Apprenticed to a series of strange and wonderful characters, Malin embarks on a picaresque journey that crosses oceans and continents from the high seas to desert plains, from a time of slavery to life in a circus until it finally leads to a discovery that is the very last thing Malin would ever have expected Beautifully written and hauntingly strange, set in an unspecified historical past, The Mermaid s Child is a remarkable piece of storytelling, weaving together the fantastical and the inevitable through the power of the imagination.
Recent Comments "The Mermaid's Child"
Jo Baker's writing slices down in the core of your heart! Many of her phrases and sentences are so wrenching at in my imagination of imaginations --- I just didn't want to visualize the things I was reading at times. I deeply appreciate the authors talents --I hope to read more by Jo Baker --but this story --kinda gave me the 'chilly-willies' -yuckies. I'm not sure what I was expecting to read when I picked this novel ---but I didn't expect what I got. "He hit me. A crack to the jaw as if the bo [...]
I knew very little about this book before sitting down to read it, and had never delved into this author's works before. I was not at all sure what to expect. It didn't take long to get sucked in, although this was, by turns, a much darker book than I had been expecting. When all you know is that it's about a girl who thinks her mother might have been a mermaid, you're not expecting a 19th-century tale of sexual coercion and prostitution.Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the [...]
This was Baker’s second novel, originally published in 2004. It doesn’t nearly live up to Longbourn, but it’s a fairly intriguing blend of historical fiction and fantasy. Malin’s father was a ferryman; her absent mother, so he swears, was a mermaid. After her father dies and she goes to work in the local pub, a peculiar man comes to town during a drought and seems to make it rain. Later it turns out he’s a swindler, but to start with he seems like a miracle worker, and Malin decides to [...]
This book was quite different from what I expected, based on the description. When it's described as a fairy tale for adults, think more Grimm than Disney. Malin's journey is a hard one, full of both pain and pleasure, love and cruelty. Jo Baker does not shy away from the most difficult parts of the journey, and at times I found it a bit hard to read. Although many parts of this book are beautifully written, I had this feeling as though there was a wall between Malin and the reader--it was hard [...]
Well, I'm not sure where to begin with this book. First, I'd like to say that I received this book through NetGalley for an honest review Over the last few years, I have read many books and usually, I like them. In this case, I'm almost stunned into silence There is much I want to say and yet I almost can't find the words to say it in. I can't say that this book was horrible, but yet it was. This is definitely not the kind of book I enjoy - others may, but not for me. There were moments where th [...]
Oh, the disappointment! The synopsis of The Mermaid's Child sounded fantastic. Mermaids! Circuses! Mythical Inheritances! Intriguing, right? Well, unfortunately, all of that together was just a mish-mash of boring.I love fantasy novels. Being transported to a mythical world is one of the great pleasures of reading. I had assumed that The Mermaid's Child would do this. But it didn'tt even a little bit. And that has a lot to do with the fact that I was never engaged in The Mermaid's Child. I kept [...]
This book should be such a fun read. The concept of the story makes you want to read it and instantly think it will take you on a magical journey ride. I had to make myself read this book to the tenth chapter. There was nothing exciting or charming about this book. Malin's grandparents are awful and put the whole family down. I had no desire to read further and find out if Malin finds her happy ending.
A motherless child grows up unwanted and uneducated in an isolated village on an isolated island, believing her mother is a mermaid. Given away by her grandmother into virtual slavery, she escapes town with a wandering vagabond and embarks on an adventure - of sorts - to find her mother that takes her to some amazing places - not all of them geographical. Admittedly, it was sometimes hard to work out what was really happening in this fantastical piece of imaginative storytelling. However, the pa [...]
I was thinking that I would give The Mermaid's Child three stars, but then I got goosebumps as I finished reading, and decided that the story affected me enough to earn four.Malin Reed has a hard life, surrounded by death, enslaved, lost, alone. She makes some questionable decisions, but keeps surviving. She reinvents herself many times, passing as male when she needs to. I found her strength inspiring, but some will find the struggles hard to read.Jo Baker is a great storyteller and kept me ent [...]
The blurb about this kids you into thinking its a happy fantasy novel. Don't be fooled like I was. It's unremittingly miserable abusive and gruesome. She doesn't go to work in the pub as stated in another review she is sold into slavery to the publican by her grandmother who hates and abuses her and starves her like everyone else in her childhood.Then she runs away with a man who she supposes to be magical but who is a conman traveling from town to town, who uses her sexually and when his luck i [...]
I really enjoyed this book, and I'm surprised it isn't getting better ratings. It's the first book I read by Baker, and so perhaps it didn't live up to some of her others? I will check out more of her books myself because I think her writing is fantastic. I really cared about the main character and got sucked into her story. Baker paints a great picture with words. What's interesting about this book is that the main character is not really that bright or tough in the beginning, and hardly a hero [...]
The second novel by Jo Baker I've attempted to read. Whilst some of the prose is beautiful, mostly it is pedestrian. I wondered if this was a device, differentiating time and character, but decided after reading nearly a third of the book, the story had not engaged me and I didn't care to read any further to find out. Sorry not my kind of book.
Baker tells the story of Malin Reed, a young woman searching for her mother, whom her father claims was a mermaid. This knowledge propels Malin on an odyssey that will ultimately lead her halfway across the world. After her father's death, Malin's grandmother sends her to work in a local public house; there Malin meets a charming con man and runs away with him. They part ways after a betrayal, and she disguises herself as a boy in order to get a position on a slaving ship. Malin takes to the sea [...]
An emotionally scarring piece of magical realism. Malin embarks on a journey of self-discovery and encounters both the best and worst in humanity.I was not expecting the total rollercoaster Baker threw her readers, so I was thus unprepared for first 2/3 of the short novel. This is, of course, primarily my own fault as I failed to note the library's cover warnings. Nevertheless, I did appreciate the text for what it was--not the fairytale adventure I was expecting, but a depiction of the jarring [...]
Set in an unspecified historical past in a world not entirely like ours (which is why I couldn't workout where & when it was set - should have read the back cover blurb more thoroughly!) Malin escapes from the small village where she has always lived by tagging along with a stranger, leading to her signing up as crew on a slave ship (where no-one apparently noticed she was a girl), being castaway at sea, lost in the desert & to joining the circusMalin certainly leads an eventful life! Un [...]
I checked out the ebook from my local library's fantasy section. Despite the minor presence of mermaids, briefly, twice in the book, this is not really a fantasy book. It easily could have been, somewhere around halfway through when she finds her destination in the ocean. but no. This book should come with trigger warnings for sexual exploitation bordering on rape. repeatedly. I also found the end unsatisfying. My final thoughts were something along the lines of 'this is some serious patriarchal [...]
I'll be honest, I was not expecting this book to be so captivating. The story itself is that of endurance, the belief and strength one possesses and testing it to the utter limit. This writing style and way of storytelling I found to be a lovely breath of fresh air and in the future look forward to reading other works by this author. If we could rate with halves I would give this book a 3.5 without a second thought but am left to give it a rate of 3.
I enjoyed reading this fairy tale, but was a little disappointed. I was not convinced of the transitions of one situation to another and was not as swept away by it as I wanted to be. I enjoyed the inventiveness of ways to survive eating local plants.
It was a little hard to believe that so many bad things could happen to one person.
A very unusual picture of a young girl as she moves through a wide variety of bad situations in her life. Well written and definitely worth reading.
just 3 stars for now because I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book
Dumb Dumb Dumb. I think trigger warnings are stupid until I come to a book like this where the protagonist is abused throughout. Stay away if that is not your thing.
I truly hated this book. It was depressing and hideous and had no redeeming qualities. Truly, a terrible book.
What a fun adventure book!!
This was nothing like the back of the book! I thought it would be an adult fairy-tale, but alas it is not.The Mermaid's Child is timeless and place-less. All we know is this girl named Malin whom her father said that her mother was a mermaid. Many hardships befall her, and yet even in those hardships there is glimmer of hope in all. It was a strange book, with passages beautifully written (which I cannot quote because I listened to it) and some was teeth gritting to get to the next part.
Blurb from Publisher:In this fantastical novel, the acclaimed author of Longbourn brings us the magical story of a young girl in search of her motherwho just might be a mermaid. Malin has always been different, and when her father dies, leaving her alone, her choice is clear: stay, and remain an outsider forever, or leave in search of the mythical inheritance she is certain awaits her. Apprenticed to a series of strange and wonderful characters, Malin embarks on a grueling journey that crosses o [...]
3.5 stars.I picked this up at the library not knowing a thing about it, but somehow drawn by its small, neat hardcover. The kind you want to pick up with your hands and carry about. I figured, too, since there were references to fantastical elements, that it would have mermaids. Also, it's called the Mermaid's Child. I'm not a big fan of mermaids, as I find them to be cheesy more often than not, so I thought something a bit darker and more adult would be a good way to get into them.Is this book [...]
THE MERMAID'S CHILDAuthor: Jo BakerType of Book: Audiobook - Unabridged - MP3 CDNarrator: Nicola Barber Length: 8 hours, 46 minutesGenre: Fantasy, Historical Release Date: March 25, 2015Publisher: Dreamscape Media Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐* I received a free MP3-CD copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review through AudiobookJukebox From the very first few minutes of this audiobook I was enthralled. Narrator Nicola Barber has an amazing voice. She conveys a sense of wo [...]
This review first appeared on the Magic Realism Books blog - magic-realism-booksThe content and tone of this book came as a surprise. The cover and description in no way prepared me for the level of realism, and the physical violence and casual sex in the book. I was expecting a rather fantastical story, which might or might not be magic realism, something suited to teenage female readers. I don't usually look at other reviews of books before I review them, but in this case I was fascinated to s [...]
This book was definitely not what I expected, but it was intriguing nonetheless. From the book's description, I had thought I was getting some sort of whimsical fantasy, something like what Neil Gaiman might have written were he to set his mind on a mermaid story. What I got could not have been further from that. Despite its slow and rather dry beginning, Baker's novel ended up being the gripping story of a young woman's unlikely efforts and continual reversals of fortune as she sets out on a qu [...]
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