I love the idea of mermaids. I like to think they’re real, if only in a metaphorical sense, such as being able to live between two worlds, and accepted for one’s uniqueness. Several years ago, I got to visit Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida. They have “real” mermaids who perform “The Little Mermaid” twice a day. After their shows, you can have your picture taken with them. If you don’t believe me, here’s their Facebook page. I promise, you’ll want to visit.
I love reading novels that include mermaids in the narrative. Most recently I fell in love with Lydia Millet’s, MERMAIDS IN PARADISE and Elizabeth Stuckey-French’s, MERMAIDS ON THE MOON is funny story about some aging Weeki Wachee Mermaids.
THE MERMAIDS of LAKE MICHIGAN(Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing) by Suzanne Kamata is more of a fairytale about growing up and trying to feel comfortable in the world. It tells the story of seventeen year-old, Elise Faulkner, a shy girl in Grand Haven, Michigan with an ex-beauty queen mother with a bigger than life personality. Elise’s mom wants to turn her into a mini-mom, complete with a loud mouth and pushy persona. Mom doesn’t seem to respect Elise’s desire to stay at home, read and write letters to her pen pals all over the world.
One of Elise’s pen pals, Fabrice Nwanko, a schoolgirl from Ghana shares a scandalous story of her uncle’s encounter with a mermaid. Elise has grown up hearing the story about how her great-grandmother was saved by a mermaid when her oxygen was cut off while diving. Her life changes when a mysterious young girl moves in next door. Chiara Hanover has traveled the world, smokes cigarettes and Elise is instantly attracted to her. They discover they both love vintage fashion and soon they are BFFs missing classes for adventures at the beach.
THE MERMAIDS of LAKE MICHIGAN is one of those novels where readers have to suspend reality and venture into the realm of magical realism to really enjoy the story. Kamata presents the magical story of a young woman growing up and finding her very unique place in a big world.
Suzanne Kamata was born and raised in Grand Haven, Michigan. She is most recently from Lexington, South Carolina, and now lives in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan with her husband and two children. Her short stories, essays, articles and book reviews have appeared in over 100 publications including Real Simple, Brain, Child, Crab Orchard Review, and The Japan Times. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times, and received a Special Mention in 2006. She is also a two-time winner of the All Nippon Airways/ Wingspan Fiction Contest, winner of the Paris Book Festival Award, and winner of the Half the World Global Literati Award for the novel.
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Thanks to TLC Book Tours http://www.tlcbooktours.com and MacKenzie Publishing, we have one copy of THE MERMAIDS of LAKE MICHIGAN to giveaway. Just share your thoughts about mermaids. We’ll announce a winner Monday.