Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: The Mermaid's Three Wisdoms by Jane Yolen

Synopsis: Sitting in her dinghy, twelve-year-old Jess was delighted to see a frolicking mermaid leap from the sea not ten feet from her. But the mermaid, Melusina, was far from delighted. For in carelessly letting herself be seen by a landperson, Melusine had broken the strictest law of the merfolk. In punishment, she was banished form her beloved undersea home and set to love on the land as a human. It was Jess who later found her lying on the sand. Despite difficulties in communication - Jess is troubled by a hearing impairment and Melusina, like all merfolk, cannot speak - the two become friends. Melusina even teaches Jess the Three Wisdoms, something all merfolk know. But it takes a special event for both girls to understand the true meaning of the Wisdoms, and how they are to live. (from the back of the book)

Review: This is a haunting story. Melusina's sadness and Jess's angry collide in a powerful way, and it takes time for the girls to understand the value of each other. Jess's struggle with her deafness at a complexity to her character that drew me in. She was flawed, and it was beautiful to watch her grow as she learned from the mermaid. Melusina's own growth was bittersweet. Driven from the sea, she learned to adapt to the harsh world of the landpeople, to communicate and to understand the Three Wisdoms taught by her people. The end was perfect, albeit sad. I highly recommend this book. A worthy read.

Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-529-05420-5
Date Finished: 10-4-2014
Pages: 110

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