Book Review: “Elijah’s Mermaid” by Essie Fox (with thanks to lovereading.co.uk and Orion)
Captivating and unique, Elijah’s Mermaid is growing to be one of the best original, pure books I’ve read for a long time…
Elijah’s Mermaid by Essie Fox
Published by: Orion
Available: May 2013 in Paperback/Hardback/eBook £12.99
Following the success of Essie Fox’s highly acclaimed debut THE SOMNAMBULIST, this is a gloriously gothic new novel from one of the most talented historical writers around.
Since she was found as a baby, floating in the Thames one foggy night, the web-toed Pearl has been brought up in a brothel known as the House of Mermaids. Cosseted and pampered there, it is only when her fourteenth birthday approaches that Pearl realises she is to be sold to the highest bidder.
Meanwhile, the orphaned twins, Lily and Elijah, have shared an idyllic childhood, raised in a secluded country house with their grandfather, Augustus Lamb. But when Lily and Elijah go on a visit London, a chance meeting with the ethereal Pearl will have repercussions for all of them, binding their fates together in a dark and dangerous way…
In this bewitching, sensual novel, Essie Fox has written another tale of obsessive love and betrayal, moving from the respectable worlds of Victorian art and literature, and into the shadowy demi-monde of brothels, asylums and freak show tents – a world in which nothing and no-one is quite what they seem to be.
Elijah’s Mermaid was set in mid 19th Century London, England, where the setting is detailed as Victorian Gothic and bewitching; which I instantly noticed as the storyline progressed quickly. The story fixed on Pearl—an orphan raised in a brothel, and also focused on Lily and Elijah—twins, who live in the country with their grandfather, Augustus Lamb; a writer of fairytales. From the very start I knew there was a darkness dwelling in each character, though although not all the obsessive, powerful darkness came to the surface, I could tell it was there and got stronger as the book developed. There were glimmers of a grand love for Elijah and Pearl, two characters who didn’t only have an instant connection but underlying roots that would draw them closer. Elijah’s Mermaid told of a story-world I easily fell into and as I read more, it was obvious that I wasn’t putting the book down until I had finished. Overall, it was fascinating, with gripping characters and twists and turns that kept me wanting to read more and more. A true five star read.
You can also read this review at Goodreads.
Many thanks to lovereading.co.uk and Orion for sending me a copy of this amazing book!