THE MERMAID'S CAVE by Margaret K. Wetterer


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A sober story, rather harsh in aspect too (heavy, very black type; stark black-and-white pen drawings), about a young Irish fisherman who captures a mermaid by snatching away her cape and, despite her entreaties and the advice of his neighbors, insists on marrying her--only to lose her when, years later, their son accidentally and unknowingly comes upon the cape. But, hearing her song, father and son console themselves that she ""is happy now,"" ""she still loves us,"" and ""we will always love one another."" The telling is restrained and not without force; but there's nothing really to leaven the mermaid's tragic plight, not even the kind of folkloric detail found in Wetterer's Patrick and the Fairy Thief (which turned, not dissimilarly, on the temporary loss of a mother to the fairy people). Add the grim look of the book, and it's hard to imagine that many children of the indicated age will take to it.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1981
Publisher: Atheneum