Merrow

Ananda Braxton-Smith. Candlewick, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7924-8
Twelve-year old Neen Marrey has been raised by her maternal aunt, Ushag, and brought up on stories of merrow (mermaids), selkies, krakens, and changelings. When Neen was a toddler, her fisherman father drowned and her mother disappeared soon after, leaving whispers and speculation in their wake. Neen harbors the secret belief that her mother simply rejoined her true family, the merrow that live below the sea, and that she will soon return for Neen. The discovery of a hidden cave and the arrival of a near-drowned “Northman” lead to unexpected revelations about both the local lore and Neen’s mother. This quiet, introspective novel from Australian writer Braxton-Smith sparkles with lingering imagery and expressive writing. Readers will be easily drawn into Neen’s determined efforts to piece together a true understanding of the mother she barely knew, whose story has been muddied by the unkind stories and rumors shared by locals. Neen’s sense of displacement fades as the wall between herself and Auntie Ushag, created by long-kept secrets, begins to crumble, earning them hard-won contentment and kinship. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/2016
Release date: 11/08/2016
Genre: Children's
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