What could possibly be better for a long, cold weekend than a story about mermaids? Nothing, obviously! The Mermaid Collector was the January book choice in my book club with friends from junior high and high school. Interestingly enough, we’ve all gone our separate ways over the years, but through social media and our love of books, we’ve been able to connect again. This has been a great way to push me out of my comfort zone and read books I wouldn’t likely pick up on my own.
The Mermaid Collector is set on the coast of Maine, near an old lighthouse with a long history. In the 1880’s, the lighthouse keeper waded into the ocean with three other men, determined to be reunited with their mermaid lovers, leaving his wife and young son behind. Ever since, the town of Cradle Harbor, Maine has been captivated by the Mermaid Mutiny. Alternating between the mysterious past and the festive future, the story takes readers along for life and the love of two women – Lydia and Tess. This exciting journey is the perfect read for the cold winter months still upon us.
The main thing I enjoyed about this story was the feel of it! I loved being transported to the beaches of Maine, the legends of the town, and the haunted feel the past brings to the present. The story ended up being more of a Romance than I expected, to my delight. I can’t help for a little bit of a love connection in the stories I read. Overall, the substance of the plot and the mystery of the story was excellent. Through and through, this was a transportive, feel-good read.
While there were several characters in this story, they were all presented at appropriate times within the flow of the story. Usually, with large numbers of characters, I feel overwhelmed and annoyed about keeping the names straight. Luckily, I didn’t experience this feeling at all, thanks to Erika Marks’ organization of the story. The large majority of characters were likable people, easy to read about, and well rounded within the plot.
In the end, I was thankful I was able to get lost in this story for a few hours. My biggest complaint was being unable to see how the title fits into the story. While the mermaid element is the main theme, I wasn’t able to grasp the “collector” in the title. I wasn’t sure the title fits the story in quite the way I expected. I also wish a few things had been tied up more neatly in the end because I still had some minor questions upon finishing. Nonetheless, this was a thoroughly enjoyable, solid 4-star read.