The Mermaid Call


Vivien lives with her grandmother Mimi. It seems Vivien’s mother lives a life of glamour and attention. Vivien misses her and longs for her approval. Therefore when Alice DeLacey, appears to seek Vivien’s knowledge about the stories of local legends, the Mermaid Girls, Vivien is flattered. However, Alice is daring and reckless. What’s more, she’s focused on unearthing the mermaid of legend, from the freshwater Lake Splendour. It seems that Alice’s aunt, Stella, kept a diary about the lake, that tells of her experiences before she disappeared. If Vivien could help Alice steal it, what might they discover?

Thereafter, how far will Vivien keep favour with Alice? it seems that the rules stated within Stella’s stolen diary insist upon ‘courage, rebellion and transformation’. However, Vivien is a good girl, concerned about Mimi’s business, and worried about her standing with her friends. She’s convinced that her wild hair is a factor in her mother’s disappointment. Then again, might Alice be the springboard to win her mother, and show the friends at the Princess Table who she really is?

Bookwagon loves The Mermaid Call. Alex Cotter marries a story of self worth, with a fantastic backstory of twentieth century history, fantasy and local legend. We recommend The Mermaid Call highly to mature middle grade readers.

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The Mermaid Call

Alex Cotter

(Nosy Crow)

Alex Cotter gripped readers with her debut title, The House on the Edge. However, with The Mermaid Call, she has us spellbound. Is it possible that the claims made in Alice’s Aunt Stella’s diary are true? Might there really be a ‘lady of the lake’, some luring creature deep in the fresh water of Lake Splendour? The local business people have traded on stories of mermaids, grown since the turn of the 20th century, when two girls encountered a special figure and gained national attention.
Therefore, the diary, stolen from Alice’s grandmother’s house, as Alice tries to track down what happened to her missing aunt, is explosive. At least, that’s the way it’s pitched to Vivien. What’s more, it seems that to maintain Alice’s interest, Vivien must meet Alice’s demands, from lifting the diary originally from the banned bedroom, to thereafter following its rules. It seems they include ‘courage, rebellion and transformation’.
Vivien is all at sixes and sevens. She longs for her absent mother’s approval and constancy from her best friend Eleni. However it seems that Eleni is joining the protesters concerned at the misogny of the local mermaids’ parade. Meanwhile, all Vivien can see is her grandmother’s worries at the decline of business, Eleni’s growing closeness to the Princess Table and the horror of her hair.
The Mermaid Call is a truly original novel. While we’re engrossed by Vivien’s anxieties and lack of confidence, we’re also curious about the stories told by the Mermaid Girls. Then again, what of the diary? Bookwagon loves this book and recommends it highly to mature, emotionally intelligent, middle grade readers.


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