There is no cure for being who you truly are… In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie’s healing potions. By night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara’s favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O’Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree. One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister’s skin. She realizes that Maren is becoming a mermaid—and knows that no mermaid can survive on land. Desperate to save her, Clara and O’Neill place the mermaid-girl in their gypsy wagon and set out for the sea. But no road is straight, and the trio encounters trouble around every bend. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening mermaid. And always, in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, if my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?
Sissy: I truly fell in love with The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble. The editor’s notes use the word “fantastical” to describe this story and the journey therein, and I can think of no better word than that and its synonyms “wondrous,” “astonishing,” and “splendid.”
Bubby: I know that we are told from an early age to never judge a book by its cover, but in this case, I think you absolutely should judge this book by its cover. I mean, just look at it! You’ve got the stork, the shell and the apple trees on the bottom to represent Clara, Maren and O’Neill, the tinker’s caravan in the center plus the mermaid’s tail represent the dangerous and amazing journey the three go on, and Scarff the tinker, Pilsner the raven and a wyvern (Osbert!) on top are the “just in time” helpers. Besides which, it’s pretty. And blue. I like blue…
Sissy: The cover is great and you are weird.
Bubby: Thank you, Sissy. I try.
Sissy: When I went with my daughter to the recently released live action version of Cinderella, she sat there at the end in the theater with a look of utter delight on her face. That is how you will feel after reading The Mermaid’s Sister and sharing with the above-mentioned cast of characters their fantastical journey.
Bubby: You already used the non-word fantastical. And readers should note that your daughter is 23.
Sissy: Fantastical, fantastical, fantastical!!! And nobody is too old to fall into the magic of a well-spun story. That’s all I have to say. You must read it. Everyone.
Bubby: Going on the quest with Clara, Maren and O’Neill is not without some danger to the reader. I was constantly stressed with wondering if they’d make it to their destination before it was too late. Then came the horrid circusy freak show people. Icky nasty bad! But then some wonderful things happened that I can’t tell you about and then a happy happy ending! Go buy it and read it right now. Hurry up!
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