Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Mermaid” as Want to Read:
The Mermaid
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Mermaid

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  485 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
From the author of Lost Boy comes a historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea for love and later finds herself in P.T. Barnum's American Museum as the real Fiji mermaid. However, leaving the museum may be harder than leaving the sea ever was.

Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped he
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Berkley
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mermaid, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Christina Henry It should be out around the same time as the US edition. Titan Books is publishing the book in the UK but I don't think they have the preorder info up…moreIt should be out around the same time as the US edition. Titan Books is publishing the book in the UK but I don't think they have the preorder info up anywhere yet.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Miranda Reads
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
The fisherman loosed her and she dove back into the water the way a wild thing returns to a wild place, and he watched her go.


But...his loneliness snaked into her, and she was sorry for it, for that loneliness caught her more surely than the net.
Amelia - a young, restless mermaid - spent her entire life in the ocean with her family. Yet, despite the security and safety the deep ocean offered, she couldn't stand it.

So, she swam off to discover the mysteries of this world...only t
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
2.5 stars

So this is my first Christina Henry book. I knew that she was getting known to be fantastic at her dark re-tellings of some of my favorite stories. This is actual footage of me getting ready to read this book..

But it's not a "Little Mermaid" re-telling. Which is okay. It still could have been a really interesting book.
This story involves Amelia, who just happens to be a real mermaid. Many years ago she was caught in a fisherman's net and saw his lonely eyes. She falls in the loves with
destiny ☠ howling libraries
He knew then, without any other proof, that she was a mermaid, a real mermaid, and far from wanting her in Barnum’s tank, he wanted her to return to the ocean or to her cottage on the rocks or just go anywhere but there, for Barnum would take all of her magic and twist it out of her until the enchantment was gone, and Levi was afraid for her, so afraid.

When I heard that Christina Henry was writing a story about a mermaid, my first thought was that, as well-known as she is for fantasy retell
Note: The Mermaid is a reimagining of P.T. Barnum and his 1840s Feejee Mermaid hoax and not a retelling/reimagining of The Little Mermaid.

I tend to have a hard time enjoying reimaginings/retellings of actual historical figures...especially when they're not portrayed in the best light. But this is where the author made a wise choice. She incorporated fantasy/mythology so even though a name may be familiar, it's part of a world that doesn't entirely exist. Christina Henry reimagines popular charac
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Jun 11, 2018 is currently reading it

The world is not prepared for the epic tantrum I will engage in if I don't receive a copy of this immediately. And also everyone knows I'm Christina Henry's biggest fangirl so she's lucky I haven't Annie Wilkes'd her already to begin with.
Mohammed Arabey
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, half way through...and I'm totally “Hooked” !

Smooth writing style, mixing fairytale with historical 19 century life, criticising society that fits even these days...
And just great paced...not ranty..which is a rarity..
If the first chapter which told the 'Origin' story in a "storytelling" style didn't hook you up..don't worry, you'll be caught hard in the "Net" of the next couple of chapters that it will be too hard to put the book down.

Mohammed Arabey
From 13 May 2018
To 15 May 2018
Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley/Penguin Random House for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed my first Christina Henry book. I'd had my eye on her Lost Boy book and her Chronicles of Alice for a while now, but hadn't had a chance to get to them (we all know how big Mount TBR can get!). When The Mermaid popped up in my Berkley newsletter, I sprang at the chance!

It's a fun tale, but my favorite part of it all was the fact that we get to see humanity through th
Jennifer (Jen/The Tolkien Gal)
Jun 29, 2018 is currently reading it
Shelves: 2018
Thanks to the lovely Miranda Reads, whose review convinced me to buy this book on Audible ASAP. You can read her amazing review, here:

Image result for mermaid picture

This genre is out of my comfort zone but I'm so excited to try something new!
Sarah Marie
The Mermaid by Christina Henry

5 stars

“Freedom was far more intoxicating than safety could ever be.”

The mermaid swam in the oceans and enjoyed her freedom. Then a fisherman’s net captured her and the eyes of sad and lonely Jack stuck with her. Thus, began her decision to go onto land and shift from the horrifying alien creature into a woman with gray eyes. The transformation is not easy and it comes at a price that nearly cripples the mermaid, but she crawls into the fisherman’s house and finds a

Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
I liked this book and thought it was well done. I do have to say that this book was a little different than I expected. That isn't a bad thing since I like being surprised by the books that I am reading. I loved Christina Henry's previous book, Lost Boy, so I was really excited to see what she would do with this mermaid tale. I found the book to be incredibly well written and quite entertaining.

One of the reasons that this book may have surprised me a bit is due to the fact that my mermaid knowl
The ocean has a rhythm, but it has no heart.

This was leagues away from what I thought to expect of the author that wrote ALICE, a bizarre twisted dark ALICE IN WONDERLAND retelling. This wasn't dark or twisted or bizarre. It was instead just painfully sad. Mournfully bittersweet. Achingly tragic.

"Do not mistake the revelation of my body for the revelation of my heart. My heart keeps its own secrets, and they don't belong to you or anyone else just because you've seen me with a fish tail."

Like th
I won an ARC of this book in a GoodReads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. So, here we go:

I find it kind of ironic so soon after seeing "The Greatest Showman" to be reading a book with such a wildly different perspective of P.T Barnum. XD And honestly, despite the author's note at the end, I am far more inclined to see this book as a more accurate representation of the man, despite my love for the musical.

I'll start with the good. This book is very lovely in its prose and it's story. It
5 Out Of 5 "lonely eyes" STARS

This was truly fantastic!  A beguiling, slightly fantastical tale about a curious mermaid, and where her curiosity took her.  Taking us from the coast of Maine to New York, Charleston and beyond. Amelia, the name she picked for herself, is haunting and alluring and you can't help but love her.
Centered around a reimagining of a hoax played by P.T. Barnum about the Feejee Mermaid, in early 1840's New York, with a tour ending in Charleston, SC.
 -Advertisement for th
Katherine Moore
'The Mermaid' has immediately gone onto my favorites list, so I can tell you right away that this book is an absolute treat.
When I grabbed my early copy of it at Emerald City Con at the weekend, I hadn't heard it was coming out, so I certainly didn't harbor any expectations for it, and to be honest, I'm not even a big fan of fairytale retellings. Plus I had to dispel any recent images of killer mermaids I still had in my head after reading 'Into the Drowning Deep, and I thought this would be th
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this wa one of my most anticipated reads this month and it didn't let me down, it was really really good.
Christina Henry always has very twisted stories and I love them, she is such a great author and her books are so unique. If you are thinking this is gonna be like The Little Mermaid because it has a Mermaid in it, you're wrong and if you think it's gonna be like The Greatest Showman because it has P.T Barnum in it, then you're still wrong.
♥ Sandi ❣
3.75 stars Thank you to Penguins First to Read and Berkley for the chance to read and review this ARC. Publishes June 19, 2018.

I would classify this novel as a fairy tale, but with a twist. I am not much of a fairy tale reader, nor of the newly written reconfiguration of fairy tales. However, I did enjoy this story. By adding in real life historical characters, the normal fairy tale of magic and happy ending bent, as though through a prism, adding a much different element to the story.

A Mermai
Jun 14, 2018 marked it as to-read
Why does this sound like the Disney version of TLM? Like it looks the same except maybe was that circus?
Jillian Doherty
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Christina Henry does it again - I loved and devoured this book!
Based loosely on B.T. Barnum and his mermaid side show, this story courses through history and a familiar Splash story that is as craveable as it is hauntingly beautiful.
The heart of this incredible read is Amelia - the gray eyed, magical creature you love from page one. The pace of the narrative is as refreshing as its original storytelling.
Each of her books is better than the last!
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Berkley Pub for the free review copy.

I love a good retelling, and Christina Henry is no amateur. Having only read Alice so far, I was expecting this book to be much darker. This did not, however, take away from the fact that it was an excellent retelling. It had hints of the story of The Little Mermaid that we all know and love, but it was also its own unique story as well. Admittedly, I don't know much about P. T. Barnum, but after reading The Mermaid, I suddenly have the urge to w
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

In many ways, this is a Little Mermaid retelling, meets PT. Barnum, meets some fabulous themes about love and agency. While I came for the mermaids, the themes ended up keeping me intrigued. Any story that deals with the exploration of belief and agency will hook me. This is more than a love story, more than a re-telling, it unfolds into something else - this hybrid story that
~Dani~ LazyTurtle's Books
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read this review or listen to the podcast review at Book Geeks Uncompromised!

Amelia, the mermaid who fell in love with a fisherman, wants the freedom she yearned for when she swam in the sea long ago. Her opportunity comes when a man P. T. Barnum offers her money in exchange for showing her as a side show attraction in his museum. What follows is Amelia's struggle to be treated not as a object but as a real person.

The Mermaid tackles some serious issues that we still see happening in our world t
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
So last year, "Lost Boy" was one of my favorite reads. So when I saw this one was coming out, I immediately thought it would be another great dark tale from Henry. Then I started hearing it wasn't dark at all... and I became worried. However, I recently read a few reviews from some of my favorite bloggers and they seemed to really enjoy this one and hey, at least I knew going into it not to expect dark and gruesome (although I still wanted dark and gruesome).

So imagine my surprise at how much I
Eines Tages wird die junge Meerjungfrau Amelia von einem Fischer gefangen. Obwohl er sie freilässt, bleibt sie bei ihm und wird seine Frau- bis zu seinem Tod. Dann hört der skrupellose Showman Barnum von ihr und will sie für seine Show einsetzen. Dafür würde er über Leichen gehen.

Persönliche Meinung
Ich bin so traurig! Und nicht, weil dieses Buch so emotional war. Nein, weil es so unemotional war. Weder düster, noch melancholisch, noch intensiv, einfach nur eine Aneinanderreihung von Wörter
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and am contemplating whether I think it should get over 4 stars. Maybe 4.25 out of 5. This is ultimately a story about a mermaid and what happens to her after coming onto land in the 1800's. She starts working for Barnum and starts to feel trapped in a world where women ultimately have no say. Coming from such a free place she's not really used to the way Americans thought and acted during those times. She was such a strong and independent character. I loved her wit, h ...more
Samantha Colwell
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
More at Hello Yellow Room

We all know this fairly predictable mermaid myth. A sea maiden is caught by a sailor, falls in love with the land and abandons her tail for two feet. Though The Mermaid follows this same formula, Christina Henry gives us enough unique turns to make this novel hold its own among the recent influx of mermaid fiction.

Amelia is more a wild thing of the ocean than a stereotypical half-fish-half-maiden. She clings to love and land, but when her sailor husband disappears on hi
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ohhhhhhh my, this was so freaking amazing.

The following review can be found at

Disclaimer: I received this book from Titan Books in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't influence my opinions and all my opinions and thoughts are my own.

5 out of 5 Stars

Wow where do I begin. Christina Henry has done it again. She is one of my favourite authors and her books never disappoint. Christina Henry has a gift for taking tales and adding her own dark twists to th
Morgan Tallman
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Honestly probably closer to 4.5 stars -- Christina Henry with another hit! She's definitely found her niche and I'm so excited and sad that I won't get another new book from her for another year and a half at least, since I got this early! Henry knows how to spin fairytales and folk lore, and the Mermaid was a quick read that sucked me in and that I fell in love with! The Mermaid follows Amelia on her quest to find herself and achieve all of her goals. I would love a prequel or a sequel to this ...more
Vellum Voyages
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 helms

Please follow me on my blog :) Review originally posted on Vellum Voyages (

"The fisherman loosed her and she dove back into the water the way a wild thing returns to a wild place, and he watched her go. But...his loneliness snaked into her, and she was sorry for it, for that loneliness caught her more surely than the net."

An enchanting, fantastical take of P.T. Barnum’s Feejee mermaid hoax during the 19th century, this beautifully told story will touch your heart.

Kaleena ★ Reader Voracious
"Barnum knew, better than anyone, that human tendency to want to believe, to want see the extraordinary."
Told in third-person narration in three alternating perspectives, The Mermaid is an enchanting piece of historical fiction that looks into P.T. Barnum's Feejee Mermaid Hoax of the 1840s. The world Henry crafted is one where the mermaid - Amelia Douglas - was real, and a willing participant in the exhibitions in order to earn money and see the world of humans.

Amelia is a restless mermaid
Darque  Dreamer
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
What can I say about The Mermaid? After reading Lost Boy, I had really high expectations, and, sadly, they weren't met. This isn't to say that I didn't find some enjoyment within the story, but it was not a 5 star read for me.

I really wanted to love this one. I loved bits and pieces of it, but as a whole, it just didn't satisfy me. I loved Amelia and her strength. I loved Caroline and her childish innocence, and I loved how Christina Henry highlighted the problems of the time period where women
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
CHRISTINA HENRY is the author of the CHRONICLES OF ALICE duology, ALICE and RED QUEEN, a dark and twisted take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as LOST BOY: THE TRUE STORY OF CAPTAIN HOOK, an origin story of Captain Hook from Peter Pan.

She is also the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and B
More about Christina Henry
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“The ocean has a rhythm, but it has no heart.” 0 likes
“Women who did what they liked instead of what other people wished were often accused of witchcraft, because only a witch would be so defiant, or so it was thought.” 0 likes
More quotes…