Madigan, L. K.. The Mermaid's Mirror. Houghton Mifflin, 2010. ISBN 978054719491. $16.00. 320p.
Reviewer: Lauren Bangerter
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Fiction; Fantasy Fiction;
Subject: Mermaids--Juvenile fiction; Identity--Juvenile fiction; Surfing--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews;
Lena has always wanted to learn to surf, so as a sixteenth birthday present to herself, Lena secretly starts taking lessons. She keeps the knowledge from her parents, as well as the fact that she is frequently sleep-walking down to the seashore. When Lena sees a mermaid in the ocean, she considers the possibility that she is going crazy. However, after finding a box hidden in her father’s room, Lena learns that her real mother (her father’s first wife who had supposedly drowned in the ocean) was a mermaid. Upon learning this, Lena and her mother are reunited, and Lena joins her mother for a time in the mermaid village. Lena eventually realizes, however, that while she loves her mother, she can’t abandon those on land who are mourning her loss. She returns to live with them, but carries with her a strengthened confidence and understanding about who she really is.
This coming-of-age story is unique in that Lena is no average teenager; she’s half-mermaid. But the lessons she learns about love, trust, and family are lessons that any teenager can relate to. Madigan has done a great job at developing believable and compelling characters. The mermaid village and lifestyle is intricate, but only the last fourth of the novel explores that underwater world. The ending felt slightly rushed and unsatisfying, but this book is a quick and enjoyable read which opens a world of imagination to the reader.
Volume 31, no.3 (January/February 2011)
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The information available on this site, including any text, computer codes, data, artwork, video, audio, images or graphics (collectively the "Material") are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Parties other than Brigham Young University ("BYU") may own copyright in the Material. We encourage the use of this Material for non-profit and educational purposes only, such as personal research, teaching and private study. For these limited purposes, Material from this web site may be displayed and printed, and all copies must include any copyright notice originally included with the Material. Additionally, a credit line must be included with each item used, citing the article or review author, title or article or review, title of the database, sponsoring agency, date of your access to the electronic file, and the electronic address.