This story will have you believing in magic again. A fairy tale for adults, that is what I would consider this book, The Merman by Carl-Johan Vallgren. This book was so much more than I thought it was going to be. At first it was a sad story about siblings who were being bullied by the mean kids in town, the mean kids that thought lighting kittens on fire was a fun past time, but then the story turned into a story about sibling love, and also a historical mythological fantasy tale. It will definitely leave you feeling like you’ve been haunted by a literary mythological creature.
Nella and her brother Robert aren’t too well off, their father disappears all the time, and their mother is oblivious to everything. Robert gets made fun of because he has disabilities, and Nella also gets picked on because she doesn’t smell that great. It’s Nella’s job to take care of Robert and to protect him, since their parents aren’t really that parental. Unfortunately, the bullying gets to be too much, and Nella has to go above and beyond the realm of her own morality in order to pay off her brothers tormentors.
Eventually she talks to her friend Tommy about the troubles that she has been facing. Though he is a good friend and she is able to confide in him, she realizes that Tommy is hiding a secret. She notices that his brothers and himself keep going to this old boat house that they own. When she finds out what Tommy’s secret really is, she can’t believe what she is seeing. The things that Nella see’s show her a magical world she could only dream exists.
I thought this book was really well written, it was translated from a different language, but that didn’t stop it from being a great story. The beginning was a little bit slow, but once the story got going it was so interesting that I kept turning the pages to see what would happen next. I also really like that Nella was a strong and independent girl, and knew what she wanted from the world. All in all I would say this is definitely a story that you are going to want to pick up, I give it 4 out of 5 stars.I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.