'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...