SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED IN LIFE IS A FABULOUS PAIR OF SHOES; AND A LITTLE HELP FROM A MERMAID.
Formerly an up-and-coming magazine editor, Jenny Lipkin is now your average, stretched-too-thin Brooklyn mom, tackling the challenges of raising two children in a cramped Park Slope walk-up. All she really wants is to survive the sweltering New York summer with a shred of sanity intact. But when her husband, Harry, vanishes one evening, Jenny reaches her breaking point. And in a moment of despair, a split-second decision changes her life forever.
Pulled from the brink by an unexpected ally, Jenny is forced to rethink her ideas about success, motherhood, romance, and relationships. But confronting her inner demons is no easy task. . . .
I loved this book. I know that some reviews were less than favorable and I suspect the fact that I am a new mom had a lot to do with my perception of the book. The fact that the main character has two very young children that she ends up taking care of alone (mostly) is something that I can't even comprehend right now. I felt that a lot of the frustrations and difficulties she described are things that any new mom would be able to identify with.
I really enjoyed that Shearn was able to describe the minutiae of every day in a sometimes humorous and sometimes all too realistic way that resonated with me and deeply so. I think that there is of course a niche market that will enjoy The Mermaid of Brooklyn more than others, but I do think that the author is such a strong writer that it is a book that could be enjoyed by many.
I am still not sure however on how I feel about the rusalka in the book. It didn't particularly add a lot though I did find it very interesting and came to wonder if it was some form of mental illness manifesting itself in the main character. I did like the fact that the author didn't try to explain it more than she did so that I was able to come to my own sort of conclusion about it.
So many of the events that happened in the book were just every day ordinary things but things that no one necessarily talks about or at least not in the utterly frank way that they were here. This is definitely a big selling point for me as I felt the honesty was integral to this story being a successful one.
I know that this story is probably not for everyone but I did love it and count The Mermaid of Brooklyn among my favorites of this year.
Thank you to Touchstone for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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