author: Amy Shearn
source: TLC Book Tours
soft cover: 368 pages
"foodie" elements: Not necessarily a foodie-novel, but there are moments where food and/or drink are mentioned...enough to inspire.
random excerpt: I squinted at Betty and Charlie, playing nicely together for once, even if they were sculpting a disturbingly phallic sand castle. Sometimes I thought I had the kind of brain that had no right being near kids. the other day at the Y play space, I'd heard a mom call out, "NO LICKING BALLS!" and I'd almost lost it completely. It was terrible. I'm not saying it wasn't terrible. p. 165
summary/synopsis (from TLC book tours page): SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED IN LIFE IS A FABULOUS PAIR OF SHOES—AND A LITTLE HELP FROM A MERMAID.
Formerly an up-and-coming magazine editor, Jenny Lipkin is now your average, stretched-too-thin Brooklyn mom, tackling the challenges of raising two children in a cramped Park Slope walk-up. All she really wants is to survive the sweltering New York summer with a shred of sanity intact. But when her husband, Harry, vanishes one evening, Jenny reaches her breaking point. And in a moment of despair, a split-second decision changes her life forever.
Pulled from the brink by an unexpected ally, Jenny is forced to rethink her ideas about success, motherhood, romance, and relationships. But confronting her inner demons is no easy task. . .
my thoughts/review: Here's the thing about me - when I read, I like to be transported. I want a getaway. It's basically my "me time". I love a day like today (warm sun, cool breeze) with nobody around but me and the people on the pages of a good book. The Mermaid of Brooklyn is a mish-mash of reality and fantasy stitched like a favorite pair of jeans. That means comfortably, people.
I don't think that there is a mother out there, stay-at-home or working, that hasn't felt some gradient of the feelings that Jenny has in this book. From the sheer adoration of those perfect little angels that sprung forth from your loins to the (momentary) need to throw yourself off a bridge to escape the insanity that is your life...wanting (deserving) the acknowledgment for the never-ending job that you have...basking in the joy it feels to be desired...remembering what your life was like and who you were before you were a wife, a mom...
I loved every minute of this story. I felt like I could be friends with Jenny. Like I could sit down next to her and Laura on a blanket in the park and people-watch with one eye while baby-watching with the other. I actually "got" her. I almost wanted a mermaid, a rusalka, to share my skin and force me to tackle uncomfortable situations head-on and to remind me not only who I was, but who I am.
Recommended reading for moms (especially stay-at-home moms), or women, in general who enjoy fiction, chick-lit, and a bit of fantasy or science fiction.
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recipe inspired by the book: I really wanted to make a dish inspired by this book...HOWEVER, life got in the way. I haven't had a whole lot of free time lately - and unfortunately no rusalka to jump in and give me a push...so I was last-minute reading. Enjoying every minute, I might add. If I had given myself just a day or two extra, I probably would have made a pizza from scratch, the crust studded with sexy roasted and caramelized garlic cloves and topped with spinach, fennel-studded Italian sausage, and maybe even some more garlic in honor of Jenny's first act of her new life: ordering pizza. Here was the passage that inspired me:
"We're ordering a pizza," I said. So there. Betty bugged her eyes out and then shrieked, "YAYYY!" galloping around the apartment. I never ordered in. It was a favorite indulgence of Harry's but one I always felt about about, what with the expense and the ease and the inevitable waste, so we ended up ordering Harry's favorites and never mine. forget it. I let the guilty tightness go, like the unwanted thoughts I was never able to release when commanded to in yoga. Whooosh. "With spinach and garlic," I added, "because that's how I like it." Betty wrinkled her nose, but when it came, she wolfed down her slice happily.
And that was the first act of my new life. Ordering pizza.
Hey, you have to start somewhere. p. 99-100
GIVEAWAY (this giveaway has ended)
update 5/7/13: Congratulations to the winner of the book, I have sent you an email - Enjoy!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm craving pizza. Pizza with all of MY favorite toppings.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, and the publisher is providing another copy for the giveaway. All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.