Review: Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid"
Author: Debbie Viguie
No of Pages: 198
Release Date: 24 October 2006
In a quiet fishing village, one lone fisherman rescued a child from the sea seventeen years ago. He and his wife raised the girl, Pearl, as their own daughter, never allowing themselves to wonder long about where she came from -- or notice her silver hair, usually pale skin, and wide, dark blue eyes.
Pearl grows from a mysterious child into an unusual young woman, not always welcomed in the village. As all the other girls her age find husbands, she has only one friend to ease her loneliness. One very special, secret companion: Prince James.
But their friendship is shaken when trouble erupts in the kingdom -- a conspiracy against the royal family combines with an evil enchantment from beneath the sea. Now, just when Pearl and James need each other most, bewitching magic and hints about Pearl's past threaten to tear them apart...forever.
The Little Mermaid is one of my favourite fairytales and Midnight Pearls did it justice in its own way.
Pearl was found at sea by her father when she was five years old; she always knew she was different based purely on her looks and her troubles with walking. Not many people have silver-blue hair and trip over absolutely everything.
It has been hard for Pearl, growing up shunned by most and gawked at by the rest. The only person who doesn’t treat her differently is Prince James, her best friend. Their friendship developed at a young age but always kept a secret.
The friendship is tested though with the arrival of Kaye. Kaye is the real Little Mermaid, being the woman who traded her tail for legs after falling in love with the prince. This devastates Pearl at first because she is starting to fall in love with him.
Midnight Pearls tells the story from the land dwellers point of view instead of the mer-peoples. A lot of people think that Pearl is the Little Mermaid but it is clear about a third of the way through that she isn’t. She is an extra character that was turned into a main. Friend to the Prince who falls in love with a mermaid who saves his life.
The story is what sticks in my mind when it comes to Midnight Pearls; the characters are just blips of info dumps. It is interesting reading The Little Mermaid from a completely different view, and the story is definitely engaging.
What detract the most from Midnight Pearls though is the drawn out beginning and the lightning fast finish. We spent half the book on Pearl and her problems and the last quarter on the actual Little Mermaid story. Everything happens so quickly that it leaves you definitely wanting more, but not in the best of ways.
Midnight Pearls is a very quick read and a nice fresh perspective on a classic. Nice and light, good for a beach read, if you feel like having mermaid fantasies for the rest of the day.