Elijah’s Mermaid, written by Essie Fox, is a beautiful story about a young orphan girl found in the depths of the Thames. Brought up in the underworld of Victorian London, the young Pearl becomes the muse of an artist called Osborne Black. She longs for freedom in a world full of sitting, posing and mermaids.
Lily Lamb, a young woman, who as a child with her brother Elijah become obsessed with a book by Charles Kingsley called ‘The Water Babies.’ They long to see a live mermaid in a river near their house in Kingsland, Herefordshire.
After a chance meeting at the age of fourteen in London, all three of the characters fall into whirlwind romances and daring expeditions to rescue each other from their unfortunate fates.
We are told the story through the eyes of the two women, in alternating chapters.
I enjoyed this book very much. The amazing attention to detail and fantastic insight to Victorian London just leaves me most definitely wanting more.
The many characters that are involved in the well thought out plot, are incredibly well rounded and have flawless, intricate backgrounds.
I found myself (on more than a few occasions) almost screaming at the book when a major plot twist had been revealed. It has been a while that a book has actually shocked me when revealing a plot twist, and Elijah’s Mermaid certainly shocked and awed me.
I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something different. This book has all the airs and graces of a Victorian novel but at the same time it is written in an understanding manner for today’s young people.
There a villainous characters, damsels in distress, mermaids, knights in shining armour. What’s not to love?
I also must say that I live near one of the locations in this book and I love the little references to things that I know of.
5/5 – One of the best books I’ve read in a while.
If you want to see more of Essie Fox, she also has a blog called The Virtual Victorian.
Books by Essie Fox
The Goddess and The Thief