MERMAID PARK by Beth Mayall


Age Range: 14 & up
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On an early summer vacation with her family at the seaside hotel of her mother’s godmother, Lynne, 16-year-old Amy decides that she wants to get along better with everyone, especially her crude, abusive stepfather and her younger sister, who seems to face life with ease. After several family blowouts, however, Amy takes off one evening and discovers an eerily beautiful mermaid-themed park. Mysteriously drawn to it, she convinces Lynne and her mother to allow her to spend the rest of the summer at the beach, so she can secretly work at the park. A champion swimmer back home, Amy must prove her ability to perform to the other “mermaids”—and to herself. Author Mayall creates real, developed characters; juxtaposes moments of pain with wonderment; and packs a powerful punch in the ending. Uncovering family secrets causes Amy to reassess the truths in her life, reconnect with loved ones and wonder what the future will bring. Once in on the secrets, readers will want to piece together all the clues they gleaned throughout the story. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-59514-029-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2005