Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Mermaids Singing

The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey is a book that I would not suggest. As the title implies, the book is much like the ocean that storms and then calms. When my sister asked what it was about, I said,
“Oh, it’s not that good. I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone.”
In which case, my sister wondered why I was still reading the book. In that moment, I could not answer. Yet, I pondered this question deeply because no matter how many times I set the book down I was drawn back to its pages.

The story that Carey writes in this book is not a new one. She focuses on the coming of age story of a young teenage Irish girl. It’s a tale of heartache and loss. Intermixed throughout the story is how sexual relations outside of marriage positively and negatively influenced three different generations of Irish women. In no way did Carey sugar coat any of her story. The characters’ losses are brutal and searing.

Truly, I cannot place my finger upon one reason that made me lift this book every hour. I tend to enjoy books that have a happily ever ending with a climax that is not too heart wrenching. The Mermaids Singing is filled with real pain and confusion. It is not a happy read, but Carey’s book is like human life. She shows the monotonous pace of the human life with the confusion of emotion so like the ocean with the continual tides and sudden bursts of storm. The entire tale runs together with one purpose to show how each character has grown and matured throughout the hardships and struggles thrown at them. Ultimately, the story focuses on the granddaughter and how her grandmother’s and mother’s decisions influenced her life.

I cannot suggest this book as an easy or simple read. Be prepared for something that is beautifully real. Carey has a unique way of tying the story together. The book is written from four different points of view. Surprisingly, confusion does not occur for the reader. The Mermaids Singing is almost like a mystery with so many loose ends needing to be caught. By the end of the book, none hang loose. With The Mermaids Singing, Lisa Carey wrote a powerful book that portrays the struggles of the past, present, and future.