Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Summary: In 1873, the mermaid Syrenka kills the man who rapes her in order to become mortal. She marries the man she loves and lives in peace until the wife of the man she murdered comes after her. In present day, Hester discovers a young man in a cave by the sea and is strangely drawn to him. A family curse has prevented her from falling in love…until now.
My thoughts: Breaking news: I’ve finally found a mermaid book that I love! I was beginning to lose hope in the sub-genre when Monstrous Beauty hit my radar. I’m thrilled to announce that Monstrous Beauty is THE mermaid book of this year, at least for me, and that I would highly recommend it—especially to those wary of scaly ladies.
Monstrous Beauty stands out amongst other mermaid books because of its lush prose and mature tone. While other mermaid books play up the funny and cute, Monstrous Beauty revolves around a dark subject and isn’t afraid to terrify its readers. Elizabeth Fama’s writing is absolutely gorgeous, and its sinister edge perfectly reflects the story.
Fama uses a dual timeline to craft one heck of a mystery: the story flip-flops between the 1870’s and the present day, both narratives relating closely to one another. This adds such suspense to the novel: Fama almost always ends her chapters on cliffhangers, leaving the reader eager to reach the continuation (which usually occurs after the subsequent chapter). Readers will love the build-up and ultimate revelation of Monstrous Beauty’s mystery: it’s well structured, and its subject matter (mermaids! curses!) is very interesting.
I fell in love with Monstrous Beauty because of its fascinating mythology, its gorgeous writing, and its captivating narrative. Give it a read if you’re looking for a fresh take on mermaids!
For those who like: mermaids, mystery, curses
Find the author at ElizabethFama.com.
Comment question: What are your thoughts on mermaid books? Have you found one that really speaks to you, like Monstrous Beauty does to me?