Download The Mermaid's Child By Jo Baker – Vansonphu.com

The Mermaid's Child 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 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 changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook 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 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 The weather went from 80 to 50 in a day or so, which means I m having a painful week, but I finished this beauty finally High four stars from me, and I will timely devour the rest of what Jo Baker has written so far Her writing is lyrical and just beautiful Great read for summer.More thoughts later, whenever I get caught up with reviews again, heh. 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 make him 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 make him her ticket out of town Jebb, the scholar sailor who rescues her from the open ocean, and Marguerite, the no longer fat Fat Lady of the circus, are two similarly unusual future saviors In all her travels, whether in circuses or at sea, Malin is constantly searching for her mother All I d ever wanted was someone to love The Mermaid s Child is curiously timeless and placeless At first glance it seems to be set in England in the recent past, until Malin winds up on board a slave ship Early 1800s, then It s also difficult to gauge Malin s initial age, which is why it s particularly creepy when she joins Joe on the road and they become lovers Malin goes through so many identity shifts that the book seems like a piece of magic realism at times a town prostitute, a disguised sailor, the sole crew member aboard Jebb s floating library, a slave in a desert encampment, and a tightrope walker in the same circus where she once looked for her mother As Baker writes, It s the nature of myth to be oldanything recent is just a reworking of the old stories In spite of her adventuresome quest, Malin isn t a very endearing character I like that the book returns full circle, delivering Malin back to the very cottage where she grew up, but her travels seem a jumble too vague for historical fiction and too concrete for fantasy The settings and experiences are all vivid, but somehow it doesn t all come together.Related reading She Rises by Kate Worsley The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here 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 wh 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 the writing was amazing, the story started to flow and I began to love the characters and then within a sentence that entire feeling would dissipate and I would ask myself the question, why am I reading this book Many times I wanted to just stop reading it and put it down, but I have never walked away from a book no matter what Spoilers Alert If you don t want to read on, now is the time to stop If you want a one paragraph summary of the story then here it is The story itself was NOT what I expected at all The description of the book led me to believe that this was going to be a fantasy of sorts that included mermaids and other wonderful creatures The reality was far from it Our main character Malin, is an unwanted child After her father dies, her grandmother gives her away into a bar as child labor There she is beat and mistreated This is the beginning of a horribly sad story as this poor girl leaves her home town to follow a stranger into an unknown and soon to be horrible future She goes from being an innocent to being made into a prostitute to signing up to work on a slave ship as a boy, to floating in the ocean with a scholar, to being kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery, to joining a circus, to getting pregnant and ending up back in her own original childhood village to give birth AND story over Quiet frankly, I could not believe how the story ended After all that, it just stopped No inventive conclusion No future outlook NO ending I just could not believe it It just stopped At the end, I understood that Malin, our main character, supposedly wrote her story down for her child we don t even get to find out if this child is a son or a daughter , but the story seemed to have no rhyme or reason Let s discuss the writing I can t claim that I m a good writer however, I have read lots of books that were wonderfully written Ms Jo Baker seems to be conflicted in her writing style As I mentioned above, there were pages that I read that were written beautifully I wanted to keep reading I was engaged with the story And then, just as quickly, the style turned and I could not understand what was being said There were vocabulary words that were not in the dictionary, there were run on sentences, there were unusual sentence structures I had to read and reread certain sections 2 and 3 times I was so torn between wanting to throw my kindle across the room from frustration or to hold on to it and keep reading So frustrating Additionally, the flow of the story was at times wonderful and at times just horrifying I would be reading a great passage, enjoying the story and out of the blue a curve ball was thrown so hard that I nearly jumped out of my seat, sitting there with my mouth hung open with disbelieve, going back a few pages thinking that I misunderstood and rereading the section just to be hit with the same shock Malin s situations changed so fast that the reader had no time to adjust to the coming change and at times unable to understand that the change happened Malin experienced so many near death situations that all of it became unbelievable At the end, my thoughts are confused On one hand I think that this story has some potential On the other hand, I think this story is just a jumbled mess that needs a huge reworking Honestly, I think that it would have been better if Ms Jo Baker would have written this story as a series instead of jumbling it all into one book It seems that each experience that Malin had should have beendetailed, better explained Instead I felt dragged through the entire story having little to hold on to and understand While the effort is greatly appreciated, this story is just not for me sorry 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 tnot 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 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 tnot 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 reading in the hopes that I would turn the page and I would magically be invested ineverything in Malin, in her journey and her quest to find the answers on her mom But it never happened After I hit page 150, I decided that I would just grit my teeth, stop expecting anythingfrom it, and just finish it.Basically, I found The Mermaid s Child to be incredibly boring, the writing was average, the characterization was average, and the book as a whole was just not something that I feel I should have invested my time in I say, skip it This book was quite different from what I expected, based on the description When it s described as a fairy tale for adults, thinkGrimm 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 This book was quite different from what I expected, based on the description When it s described as a fairy tale for adults, thinkGrimm 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 for me to ever connect with the character For such a driven character, it seemed like events happened to her for the majority of the story, rather than her having a real sense of agency Malin developedcontrol over her life toward the end of the story, but it ended quite abruptly 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. I loved Longbourne and was excited to read another book by Jo Baker The description sounded like a departure from her other book, but the storyline seemed enticing enough I can t fault Baker s writing style She s descriptive and used the English language like a sculptor Her imagery is gorgeous, her language strung together like luminous pearls on a necklace The plot and characters are where she lost me Set in an unspecified time in England, Malin is the wild child of a poor ferryman, negle I loved Longbourne and was excited to read another book by Jo Baker The description sounded like a departure from her other book, but the storyline seemed enticing enough I can t fault Baker s writing style She s descriptive and used the English language like a sculptor Her imagery is gorgeous, her language strung together like luminous pearls on a necklace The plot and characters are where she lost me Set in an unspecified time in England, Malin is the wild child of a poor ferryman, neglected by a disinterested grandmother She yearns to find her mother, describes as a whore by her grandmother and a mermaid by her father Her dad dies, she is thrown into an indentured type of job with a rough character and she begins a hero s journey to find her mother My complaint is that the book does not ring true It s a wild fantasy ride Malin lives in a Mad Max kind of world rather than I suppose fifteenth or sixteen century Europe The man she meets feellike a fey Fagan a la Oliver Twist that would be the 19th century , the circus seemed totally out of sync with the times, in fact, it had afantasy aspect, as did her stint on the slaver At times, brutal, the violence was hard to read, at other times it felt like science fiction like, the book felt like a long useless journey, until Malin discovers the meaning of her search I looked up the book after I finished it and realized it was an early work That said, it explained a lot I think Baker is a fine author and in a way, I enjoyed seeing the difference in her talent as she grows 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 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 page kept turning to see what on earth was going to happen to poor Malin next as she seems to constantly fall out of the proverbial frying pan, and into the proverbial fire


About the Author: Jo Baker

Jo Baker is the author of six novels, most recently Longbourn and A Country Road, A Tree She has also written for BBC Radio 4, and her short stories have been included in a number of anthologies She lives in Lancaster, England, with her husband, the playwright and screenwriter Daragh Carville, and their two children.


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