Book Review: The Mermaid's Pendant

I am reviewing The Mermaid's Pendant as part of LeAnne Neil Reilly's Pump Up Your Book virtual tour:

From the publisher: 

About The Mermaid’s Pendant

The Mermaid's PendantInspired by the beloved classic The Little Mermaid, THE MERMAID’S PENDANT is a modern fairy tale about growing up and discovering who you are—and what you believe in. At times lyrical, this novel is a fantastic journey filled with magic, myth, romance, and adventure.
Four years after John Wilkerson claims the mermaid Tamarind for his wife, they have an idyllic marriage that depends on a talisman that she crafted on their island paradise. But Tamarind learns a painful truth: it takes more than legs to live on land and more than magic to sustain a bond. When the talisman breaks, she and John are forced to rely on themselves instead of magic.
Three wise women play key roles in the young lovers’ journey to mature love. Ana, Tamarind’s aging mentor, casts spells and performs seductions to keep the lovers apart. Valerie, an expat jewelry maker cum fairy godmother, works her own magic to bring them together. Lucy, their widowed neighbor, grounds the couple in the realities of marriage, parenting, and family.
THE MERMAID’S PENDANT is a story for anyone who has ever believed in the transforming power of love.

Watch the trailer:

My review:

This ain't your daughter's Ariel... If you are looking for a sappy, happily ever after with no curves story, then The Mermaid's Pendant is not your book.

Opening with a man whose life seems to be drifting along until he nearly drowns while snorkeling on a solo vacation, then becomes obsessed with finding the woman who saved his life, to the exclusion of the life he's lived to now - including a steady partner who plans to join the trip in a few weeks... this book details the love story and sacrifices made by the protagonists, John and Tamarind and the roadblocks set up by John's former partner and the mysterious woman, Ana, who pretends to help the couple, but in reality is setting the couple up for trouble.  Other characters also become central in helping the couple to succeed.

I have to say that I had trouble getting into this book, it took time for the hook to develop and then in parts I found it to wander again.  I think this book would have been outstanding with some more judicious editing, but as it is, it's a good, suspenseful read and I really found myself getting into the characters - particularly Ana, whose role resembles the witch in the classic telling of the tale.

If you want a meaty love story with some definite roadblocks and some magical influences then this book is for you.  It is definitely not a light, weekend read though, so prepare for some serious reading time when you plan to start this book.

About LeAnn Neal Reilly

LeAnn Neal ReillyLeAnn Neal Reilly grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri, near the Missouri River, in that fertile land where corn, children, and daydreams take root and thrive. She spent countless hours reading and typing chapters on an old Smith-Corona in her closet, which luckily for her didn’t have doors. Then she put away her daydreams and her stories and headed off, first to graduate magna cum laude from Missouri Western State University, and later to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh for a master’s degree in professional writing. Along the way, she majored briefly in chemistry, served as opinion editor and then editor of her college newspaper, and interned for the international design firm Fitch RichardsonSmith in Columbus, Ohio. The highlight of her internship came when she generated the product name renata for a Copco teakettle (although designing the merchandising copy for ceramic tile adhesive and insulation packaging surely runs a close second).
After graduate school, LeAnn worked first for a small multimedia startup and then a research group in the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. At the startup, she spent her time writing user manuals and multimedia scripts for software to train CSX railroad engineers. While working among geeks, LeAnn became enamored and decided to take one home for herself. After getting married and starting a family, she returned to her adolescent daydreams of writing novels. Never one to shirk from lofty goals, she added home schooling her three children as her day job.
After years of working in an office not much better than an unfinished closet, LeAnn has finishedThe Mermaid’s Pendant and is currently working on her next novel. LeAnn joined GoodReads three years ago where she writes reviews regularly.
LeAnn lives outside Boston with one husband, three children, a dog named Hobbes (after Calvin &), and a cat named Attila.
LeAnn’s Web site is