‘The Mermaid’ spoiler-free review!

“Hope is a clinging, tenacious thing, almost impossible to dislodge.”

– Christina Henry, The Mermaid


Hi everyone! Today I’m reviewing The Mermaid, the latest book by Christina Henry. Having really enjoyed Lost Boy earlier this year and then falling in love with the movie The Greatest Showman, I just had to get my hands on this book!


What the book is about…

From the author of Lost Boy comes a beautiful historical fairytale about a mermaid who leaves the sea, only to become the star attraction of history’s greatest showman.

Once there was a mermaid called Amelia who could never be content in the sea, a mermaid who longed to know all the world and all its wonders, and so she came to live on land.

Once there was a man called P. T. Barnum, a man who longed to make his fortune by selling the wondrous and miraculous, and there is nothing more miraculous than a real mermaid.

Amelia agrees to play the mermaid for Barnum and walk among men in their world, believing she can leave anytime she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid.


What I thought of it…

This was such a fantastic book. It took no time at all for me to become invested in the story of the mermaid. I loved the folklorish start but felt completely transported when the action moved to New York. I was flying through the pages.

Amelia was a brilliant protagonist. She is such an activist and I bloody loved her for it. She stands up for so many things – feminism, animal rights, racial minorities – and it added so much extra depth to what could have been a simple tale. By adding these issues, Christina Henry has created a multi-layered plot that defies categorisation.

I was also impressed with the Barnum that Henry created. Having recently watched The Greatest Showman, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t constantly picturing Hugh Jackman; however, Henry managed to give her Barnum a distinct personality and make him more morally grey than the all-singing, all-dancing movie version.

The writing itself was also beautiful. I flagged so many quotes that really spoke to me and I loved Henry’s message about accepting everyone no matter what.

I am so impressed with this one. Christina Henry is fast becoming a favourite author.


the mermaid christina henry book review

Have you read any of Christina Henry’s books? What did you think of them?


7 thoughts on “‘The Mermaid’ spoiler-free review!

  1. Pingback: July Wrap-Up! (In which normal functioning resumes) | the paperback piano

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