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I'm a librarian based in the UK who loves books. I'm happiest when I'm either talking about them, reading them or buying them. This blog is dedicated mainly to my addiction to YA fiction but you will also find some adult and non-fiction book reviews as well.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Review: The Forbidden Sea - Sheila A. Nielson

Goodreads synopsis:
When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, she is convinced that the mermaid means her harm. After all, the island is steeped in stories of mermaids' curses and the ill-luck that they bring. But Adrianne is fierce-willed and courageous and is determined to protect her family and the islanders from danger. Yet when the islanders find out about Adrianne's encounters with the mermaid, her family is scorned. They believe that once active, the mermaid cannot be quieted until an islander sacrifices herself to the sea. But is the legend true? And will their fear make them force Adrienne to test it? This is a haunting story of love, surrender and strength.


Review:

What an amazing book!  Sheila A. Nielson has woven a beautifully imagined tale of magic and mermaids that is imaginative and wonderfully written.  I read this in one evening and found it absolutely impossible to put down.  I loved the central character Adrianne who is compassionate and empathetic and wholly unselfish.  After the death of her father, she is left to look after her younger sister and mother.  She is responsible for ensuring that they have food on the table, although there is little of that to go around.  She also has to deal with her unfeeling Aunt who favours Adrianne's younger sister.  The only good thing she has in her life, is local boy Denn, who she has grown to love, even though she fears he will never return her feelings.  When she encounters the Windwaithe Island mermaid, her life changes in unexpected ways.


This story is just achingly gorgeous.  Sheila A. Nielson says that she was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's 'The Little Mermaid' but in 'The Forbidden Sea' she's made the mermaid genre all her own.  There are some twists and turns in the latter part of the book which fairly skips along and a perfect ending.  I re-read the last few pages a couple of times over because I couldn't bear for the story to have finished.  I loved it!  I would adore a follow-up book because I connected so strongly with the characters that I want to know what happens to them next. 

This is Nielson's debut novel and I shall certainly be looking out for more from her!

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