Monday, February 6, 2012

Books, Books, Books! Vive Le Libre!

'So it was in late September, three years later, that I sat in a bathtub alone, my wedding dress hanging on the door. I was washing my hair, dunking it back into water I had mate fragrant with Minnesota honey and California cream, letting it rock from side to side, feeling that good mermaid hair feeling. I was conjuring up my favourite mermaids of all, the rusalki...'

A Mermaid's Tale, A Peronal Search for Love & Lore, Amanda Adams

I've just finished reading A Mermaid's Tale A Personal Search for Love and Lore by Amanda Adams, which was truly lovely. 
A Mermaid's Tale describes Adam's lifelong quest for mer-people, being a very personal exploration of the myths and meanings surrounding different mer-people. The factual is interwoven with her memoir (possibly with some poetic licence - I'm not entirely sure if her friend really was a selkie) and has some delightful  bits from her past in it - (Spoiler alert!) 
The part when Adam's first boyfriend dumps her for not being 'deep enough' for failing to share his interest in UFO's is giggly-teary. Her description of her teenage longing to be a mermaid and imagining a tail as she took long steamy baths brought back to me all the intensity and longings of being a teenager and I loved when she described her first meeting with her husband as they dived in the Dead Sea.
My only gripe was that as the book was supposed to be a tale of 'love and lore' I would have loved to have read more about her meeting and relationship with her husband-to-be - I thought that was very scetchily done - especially as the whole premise of the book seemed to be that it was her thoughts the night before she married - would marriage mean giving up her dream of a mermaid tale and all the implications thereof? 
But then, I'm a sticky beak. 
I will be re-reading this book again soon because the language is beautiful and I was too busy hurrying to get to the romance to savour it...
'A Mermaid's Tale' vividly, beautifully, brought back to me the night before my own wedding when I was in our rickety old beach house which seemed to be floating in the dark, having a last un-married candlelit bath and listening to the breakers on the shore and thinking this is it - and being beautifully content. My little flipperling was summersaulting inside me and the world was a wonderful place. 
Adams was move ambivalent than me about her forthcoming nuptials (not having a wee one within might make a difference there - my commitment was already well and truly made!)

Books on the 'to read next' list are

Lili Wilkinson's Scatterheart
Journeys in a Small Canoe, The Life and Times of a Solomon Islander by Lloyd Maepeza Gina 
(Reread) Lady Gregory's Complete Irish Mythology.
Some more poetry - particularly Mary Oliver.

I'm also going to try to work myself up to reread the first book I ever wrote ... 20 years ago now... - which could be painful or warm-fuzzy like or giggleworthy or all of the above!

But I'm looking for another book to call me...


  1. What a fabulous read this post is.

    It's wonderful to see the parallels with your own life and the mermaid's tale and the poignancy of your writing is splendid.

    I can't wait to find out how the 'reread' goes and I'm sure it will be anything but giggleworthy.

    Happy day Lovely and thank you for joining in with 'Vive le Libre!' you really have captured the spirit of the activity.

  2. Hi, visiting from Gifts of Serendipity. I am not familiar with this book so will go and do a bit of research after this visit. It is great to share books with everyone and learn about new authors etc. Cheers, Charmaine

  3. This is a MUST HAVE for the incarnated Mermaid or lover of Mermaids indeed. The book is absolutely filled with MER information and written in such an eloquently creative style matching the era of today and keeping the flavor of the past alive too. I need to write the author a letter to thank her for such an exquisite work.