Elijah’s Mermaid by Essie Fox. Review for Lovereading.co.uk


Elijah’s Mermaid by Essie Fox

Review by Amanda Donovan

Elijah’s Mermaid is a Gothic tale about an artist’s obsession, mermaids, water babies, madness and true love.  It starts with the rescue of an unusual baby from the river Thames.  Baby Pearl is taken to the local brothel to be cared for by Mrs Hibbert and the slimy Tip Thomas. 

Essie Fox’s descriptive writing takes the reader into the heart of Victorian London.  She shows the contrast between the upper classes and London’s darker, seedy side in detail.  Chapters alternate between Lily and Pearl’s point of views.  Pearl’s seedy upbringing in the brothel contrasts with Lily and Elijah’s happy childhood in the country.  The author creates a wonderful, strong relationship between the twins and knits the two sides of the story together with skill. 

The characters are well-rounded and original.  I enjoyed the relationship between the twins and could feel Lily’s pain when Elijah left.  This is down to the author’s skill with description.

When Elijah leaves home to pursue a photography career with the artist, Osborne Black, the pace quickens and the plot becomes darker and entwined with jealousy, fear, Gothic madness and lust. 

There are many descriptive paragraphs which may put some readers off, but once it picks up pace and tension in the middle, it is hard to put down. I felt scared for Elijah and horrified for Pearl. This book is a must read for all Gothic fiction fans.

Advertisements

About batcatz

Creative Writing MA graduate
This entry was posted in Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

Thank you for your comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s