Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Mermaid’s Sister Audio

The Mermaid’s Sister Audio

Carrie Anne Noble
For ages 12 and up
Unabridged audiobook (MP3 CD)
Performed/read by: Kate Rudd
Brilliance Audio, 2015   ISBN: 978-1501210174

Sixteen years ago, on a stormy night, the local healer on Llanfair Mountain - whom everyone called Auntie - heard a knock on her door. When she went to see who was there, Auntie saw that a large conch shell had been left on her doorstep. She brought she shell into her home, which was when she discovered that it contained a perfect, beautiful baby girl. She named the child Maren. Three days later she was looking out of the window when she saw a stork flying in the sky towards her cottage. The stork was carrying a bundle in its beak. When Auntie opened the bundle she found it contained another lovely little baby girl, whom she named Clara.

   Clara and Maren are now young women, and they are as close as sisters can be, even though they are not sisters by blood. Not long ago Maren began to change. Webbing between her toes and fingers began to grow, and her condition is becoming very noticeable indeed. Now Maren is starting to grow scales on her body. Auntie and Clara know that it won’t be long before Maren will change completely into a mermaid, and when she does they will have to return her to the sea, where her people live. The thought of losing Maren is almost more than Clara can bear. She wants to find a cure for Maren’s condition and asks Auntie to look through her remedy book for a treatment, but Auntie explains that “There is no cure for being who you truly are.”

   Clara refuses to accept this, and when her friends Scarff and O’Neill arrive, she asks O’Neill for his help. Maren and Clara have known O’Neill all their lives. The sisters eagerly look forward to the times when he and Scarff travel to their cottage in their tinker’s house-wagon, pots, pans and wind chimes clinking and banging as they come. The young people have practically grown up together, and their fondness for each other is strong. It is only now though that Clara begins to discover that perhaps her feelings for O’Neill are not as sisterly as she thought they were.

   In the months that follow Maren’s transformation continues. Soon enough her feet have been replaced with a tail, and scales cover her from the waist down. She spends all her time in a bathtub, cared for by Clara and Auntie. Clara stops talking about finding a cure, realizing that her beloved sister wants more than anything to begin her life in the sea. After being away for longer than usual, O’Neill and Scarff return and it is decided that Clara and O’Neill will take Maren home. Their journey is going to take several weeks and Clara knows that many new things await her in the world that lies beyond the mountain where she grew up. What she does not know, yet, is that evil lies in wait and she will have to use her wits if she is going to be able to save Maren, O’Neill and herself from those who prey on the unwary.

   In this beautifully narrated fairy tale, the author weaves a tapestry of lyrical language to give listeners a story that contains magic, romance, darkness, and secrets. Colorful characters, including a wyvern called Osbert, add a delicious soupcon of something magical to the tale.