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The Mermaid of Brooklyn

The Mermaid of Brooklyn - Amy Shearn Check out my other listens at Eargasms Audiobook Reviews

Unlike many of the folks who have reviewed this book here I am not a mommy, stay at home of otherwise. I thought this was a really interesting glimpse into the life of a NYC stay at home mom.

I did not find Jenny to be annoying or overly whiny, she was stuck in a situation she was not sure how to fix. I think she was having thoughts and feeling typical of any harried mommy, and this book felt more honest than many I have read. She was not sugar coating her life, sometimes it sucked and others it was like a vacation. The only constant in the day to day is her young daughters Betty and Rose. Her snarkiness was a real bonus.

I was rather annoyed at how often people asked her if she was OK and vaguely referenced her past depression. She was coping admirably under the circumstances. I am still unclear if the Mermaid was real or just a creation of her own mind to force her to get a handle on her life. Either way, she pulled up her big girl panties and worked to fix the things making her unhappy. I loved that she found a way to support herself and the girls.

There was a pacing problem with the book, especially at the beginning, it was very unclear where it was headed. The affair also made me a touch mad, but then I considered it as another look into the lives of those bored housewives. It is so easy for one to confuse attention for love, and a lack of attention can be a huge motivator in affairs.

This book would have been so much better had it stuck to being about Jenny's growth and what happened when she stopped thinking of herself and really listened to those around her. She had wonderful insights that she shared and the sheer strength she radiated when she got her life together. This is why the ending left me cold, it was almost a back peddle and I hated to see that happen.

I listened to the audiobook read by Hillary Huber, she does a nice job, if a touch nasal. But that lends to the whiny character that Jenny tends to be. She does a wonderful job with the mermaid's voice, really distinct and interesting. She had a great pace that helped the story move along.

It was very well written with interesting and engaging characters. With only Jenny's POV to guide us things are rather one sided. I still say the mermaid read more as an affectation of her mind than an actual supernatural being.