Mermaidby Published 25 Jul 2017
There’s always more beneath the surface.
Once, Hope Payne was a mermaid, performing at the local theme park and captivating audiences young and old.
Today, she’s married to a pragmatic marine biologist who has filled the pool in their backyard with flounder for a special study. Before he begins, the fish vanish—echoing a loss Hope alone can understand. She senses there’s something underwater, something alive and hungry for more, but is she in too deep to ever resurface?
New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult’s “Mermaid” is a spellbinding short story about the sacrifice it takes to swim again.
I would read this woman's grocery list. I generally love her novellas leading up to her next release but this one felt so random, no promotion, etc. her writing is beautiful as always, but too short of a short story to even really connect.
What? No, what?
I came into this kinda pumped. I'm basically a six year old at heart so a book with moving pictures? There's no way that's not gonna be awesome! I kinda skimmed the description and comments, and decided to grab it because moving pictures.
Yeah, my decision making skills aren't winning any prizes, but I knew for a fact I'd be able to say: I've read worse.
Which is true. I have definitely read worse.
You may recognize this as "not exactly a rave review."
I think part of the problem is presentation. A book called "Mermaid," with moving pictures being one of its big draws, half its advertising campaign at least--it invites a certain expectation of whimsy. Maybe dark whimsy, but still something inherently whimsical. This novella is more like the embodiment of everything anti-whimsy. Which is odd because it doesn't seem like that was the goal. The problem is, I don't know what the goal was. It felt like a half-finished thought wandering across the pages, an idea that didn't get finished. The ending leaves you wanting and unfulfilled, and the entire novella (it's short enough calling it a book would physically pain me) is oddly incomplete. Like you're not even getting half the story; you're getting a glimpse through a crack in the fence, using binoculars, to see the very edge of the story. Like dipping your toes in but just hovering them right above the water instead.
Hope is an apparently "troubled" young woman who worked as a mermaid at what sounds like Weekiwachi (Florida). She married a man she maybe loved, had a miscarriage, and wound up seeing the psychologist she clearly needed long before this. And the story villifies--everything, honestly. Psychiatric help was apparently less than useless, but no one else is helping either. I wound up just wanting to kick her husband in the face and let her keep feeding the pool. Except it wanted to eat her for unknown reasons, and was possibly the fetus Hope showed no signs of wanting?
I saw it called disturbing but I disagree. It felt like it wanted to be disturbing. Instead it said fetuses are fully sentient at the size of "a kumquat" (when evidently they also have all their limbs and whatnot instead of looking like a weird little alien worm) and...not much else. Hope's entire character appears to be "sad person." Nick's character is "angry guy." The pool is just weird. Everything about this is weird. I was going to give this three stars but I changed my mind because the more I think about it the more baffled I am by it. It's like one of those artistic films that insist they're very meaningful and if you disagree it's because you "don't get it."
The only good thing I can really say about this is the "kindle in motion" aspects were fairly fun. I think they could use some fiddling (the clips should automatically repeat, or be able to be set so that they do; the transition from pages with pictures to without could be smoothed a lot; other nitpicks from an artistic standpoint) but I like it on theory and hope to see more of it.
But the book itself? A resounding "eh."
Excuse me Ma'am, but just what was that ending? I was actually really into this weird little story, but I felt it was just TOO short to do anything with. Perhaps we're being introduced to a new future character?
I'm not sure what to say about this book. It kept me engaged, but it felt too short. It also seemed too vague. The Kindle in Motion animation was nice, but didn't really seem to add to the book. This is only my second Jodi Picoult book, the other being Small Great Things, and it is my first Kindle in Motion book. I'm glad I read it and I'm glad I figured out the kinks of KIM with this book. It's worth a shot if the blurb sounds interesting.
Wth was that ending? I get it was a short story but I liked the motion/moving pictures a lot more than I did the story. I only have Picture Perfect to read and I will have to wait for Jodi Picoult to release a new book, but this was not for me. It was a cool concept but wasn’t for me.
My quick and simple overall: the motion/moving pictures were cool to look at on my kindle. The story was alright.