Review for The Mermaid in the Millpond

Review for The Mermaid in the Millpond

The Mermaid in the Millpond by Lucy Strange, Mermaid, Historical Fiction, Illustration, Mill, Short Story, Novella, Children's BooksMermaids, mills, escape plans, and more. A lovely, but sad, book!

At times sad, but at times wonderful book about a girl who lost her mom and comes to a mill thinking her life will be good again only to find out that it is just a lie (welcome to England of that age), there is a mermaid, a new friend at the mill, and plans to escape this hell-hole. Because LORD, it was hell. Barely any food. Barely any sleep. Beatings and mistreatment. Dangerous jobs. My heart broke for these kids.

I felt for Bess and I wanted to give her the biggest of hugs at times. She went from having a pretty good life to having to risk her fingers, eating barely anything, getting a beating often. I could imagine that she was so angry, so closed-off. She just wanted to get through things. Just not think. Just go. Hope if she just didn’t think about things it would be over sooner. Not how it works, but I know the feeling and I have done it myself. I was happy though that as the story continued she slowly opened up to Dot. Yes, the book is pretty short so it is not that slow, but you get what I mean. For a book this short it was pretty slow.

Dot was a wonderful secondary character. She was sweet and kind and I loved that she didn’t let anyone’s words about Bess or how Bess was acting at first deter her. Instead she just kept trying. Being there for her.

My heart broke when we learn how Bess her mom died. That poor girl, living with a guilty feeling like that. Yes, I can imagine you blame yourself, however, you also couldn’t just close your eyes for what you saw before you. I am sure your mom wouldn’t want you to blame yourself.

The ending was quite exciting and I loved the plan the girls made. I was just hoping and crossing my fingers that it would work out. Because if they would be caught, again, then there would be no hope for them. So I was just cheering and rooting for them. And not just for them. But also for the mermaid.

Yes, mermaid. But not like those you often see in books. This one is more raw, more nature, more beast than human. I have to say at first I was wary about it, thanks to the stories, but as we meet her I just knew it would be OK. That this mermaid, just like everyone in the mill, just wanted to get out. Be free.

I would have kind of liked an epilogue! Maybe something set a few months after everything? I am curious if the girls managed what they wanted to do. Maybe a trip to the beach to see someone?

The illustrations weren’t always my cup of tea, however, they did fit the book and the story.

All in all, I am glad I picked this book up! It was definitely interesting to read and I really liked the characters.

Star rating, 3.5 stars

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