Monday, June 3, 2013

The Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn: Book Review #SRC2013

Disclaimer - I was provided a review copy from the publisher to facilitate my reviews. 
All opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.


It is time for my stop #4 for the 2013 BookSparksPR Summer Reading Road Trip. This week, I am excited to introduce Amy Shearn's  The Mermaid of Brooklyn

from the back cover:

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. . . 

My opinion:

Wow! I am not sure I have read a book that so accurately and humanly portrays the thoughts, trials and struggles of motherhood -especially post-partum depression, as this book. The character of Jenny Lipkin seemed to embody my worst days as a Mom with two small children. While I can't relate to her shoes, her mermaid or standing on a bridge, I think all Moms have felt like they don't measure up and shuffle through at least a day or two with mixed emotions brought on by crying children and sleep deprivation.

Amy Shearn really has a way with words! Her imagery is humorous and heartbreaking all at the same time. What I loved the most was her characters were real. From the husband who leaves to the not-so-helpful but well-intentioned Mother-in-Law, none too flawed, all relateable on some level. But every character was gritty and real. I fell in love with the character of Jenny. Soft around the middle, beat-up by mother-hood and trying her best to be a good Mom. As a Mom who goes for natural toys, natural fibers and the best for my children, I loved Shearn's humorous observations, 
I realized that all those responsibly crafted wooden toys from Sweden were just thinly disguised bludgeons... (pg. 84)
Am I the only one who has come to the same conclusion as siblings come to blows?

Then there is the clever character of the mermaid, the rusalka. With her arrival comes a rebirth in Jenny. She begins to take back control of her life and realizes that she doesn't have to be perfect or apologetic,
Let me share some wisdom, bubeleh, from the great beyond: It's true. Everyone has something. No matter how perfect their lives seem. Everyone. (pg. 111)
Overall, I fell in love with this story. It wasn't sugar-coated, and rang true, but at the same time was entertaining and enjoyable. From beginning to end you will want to know how it turns out and will enjoy every page along the journey.

Grab your own copy on Amazon

Be sure to join in on the fun with BookSparksPR Summer Reading on their Facebook page. I will be back next week with my next  #SRC2013  read.

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