Have you ever fantasized about having sex with a mermaid/merman/merperson? Then this IS the book for you!
Unfortunately, I have not and it was not.
I’ve been reading Melissa Broder’s work for years in different formats and styles (see her book of personal essays
and corresponding twitter account
, her poetry
, and her monthly existential horoscope
). I enjoy her voice and am willing to follow her down most paths, but I couldn’t get behind most of this storyline
(falling in love with a mythical creature in a non-fantastical world).
The novel follows Lucy who is in a rut with her PhD dissertation, her long term relationship, and her life generally. She spirals when pieces of her life begins collapsing and escapes to her sister’s home on the beach where she begins group therapy, bonds with a dog, and falls for a merman.
Aside from grimacing during some of the sex scenes
(this may just be me; I find most sex scenes to be gratuitous and unnecessary for my own interests, but they are probably delightful for people seeking steamy descriptions), I fell in love with so many of the sentences in this book. Broder has a beautiful way of writing about depression that really connects with me
and I love reading her bits on this and generally moving through life. Single sentences are haunting and poetic
and I’ve included some of my favorites below.
Overall — if you read this description and were like “OH YEAH!” you should pick up this book. If it didn’t sound like it was up your alley, you’re probably right and should skip it. Also feel free to enjoy these sexy merman ornaments that I found while wandering around Manhattan two weeks ago.
Quotes are from an advance reader copy and may differ slightly from the final published format.
“I felt tears rise up. I had not cried in years. I had felt, for a long time, that if I started crying I would not stop — that if I finally ripped, there would be nothing to stop my guts from falling out.”
“I didn’t want to be seen too closely, or I might have to look at me too.”
“Part of me was reacting to the pain. But another part of me liked being melodramatic, babying myself.”