Monday, April 22, 2013

The Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn

Morning, all! I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour this morning for Amy Shearn's latest, The Mermaid of Brooklyn.

Jenny Lipkin is worn out... and stressed out. No one in the house is sleeping thanks to Rose, the new baby, and husband Harry has been working super late hours thanks to slow business. One night, Harry calls to say he's stopping for cigarettes on his way home and disappears. Harry's mother is ready to call the police (who inform her that there's nothing they can do unless foul play is suspected) but Jenny suspects her hubs could be on a gambling bender - something he's been known to do. In a desperate moment, Jenny plans to launch herself off the Brooklyn Bridge. Fortunately, she changes her mind. Unfortunately, it's too late. But Jenny is saved by a rusalka - a mermaid - who helps her to find her way.

I knew I was going to love this book from the very first page. Amy Shearn has a great style and voice! (I'd include a passage but I think I'd be attempting to include the whole book!) On the very first page Jenny talks about her husband leaving and wonders why he didn't take the dog with him while also berating him mentally for not changing the hall lightbulb before he left.

In addition to the snarky components (that I'm always a sucker for - definitely says something about me), Shearn has a magical way of turning a phrase. Her writing is quite pretty (not purple!) and wonderfully illustrates Jenny's life and surroundings.

A lot of The Mermaid of Brooklyn is about family and motherhood. I don't have kids, but Jenny's narration as a whole is something I can personally sympathize with even when she talks babies. I laughed out loud more than once at her very real portrayal of mommyhood (all the dirty and stinky parts that folks sometimes gloss over). And I truly felt for her when she was at her worst.

As with Nowhere But Home (see last week's Liza Palmer post), Shearn combines great humor and emotion in her latest, making The Mermaid of Brooklyn another hilarious and heartfelt read - definitely recommended for both moms and non-moms (or not-yet-moms).

To see what others thought, check out the rest of the tour stops here.

For more on Amy Shearn and her work (she's also the author of How Far Is the Ocean From Here, which is already in my TBR) visit her official website. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. There's also a fun Pinterest page for the book here.

Rating: 4/5


As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

I've been feeling a little ambivalent about this one. I've never been able to buy into the selkie or mermaid idea when it comes to realistic fiction. But the rest of it sounds enjoyable.

Becky LeJeune said...

I don't generally mind. I especially loved it here for two reasons. 1. the character has a degree in Russian folklore so the mermaid aspect is from that angle. 2. throughout the book you do wonder if it's all in her head.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm glad to see that you were able to identify with Jenny even though your life and hers are so different.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!