Since she was found as a baby, floating in the Thames one foggy night, the web-toed Pearl has been brought up in a brothel known as the House of Mermaids. Cosseted and pampered there, it is only when her 14th birthday approaches that Pearl realises she is to be sold to the highest bidder.
Meanwhile, the orphaned twins, Lily and Elijah, have shared an idyllic childhood, raised in a secluded country house with their grandfather. But when Lily and Elijah go on a visit to London, a chance meeting with Pearl will have repercussions for all of them, binding their fates together in a dark and dangerous way....
©2013 Essie Fox (P)2013 Oakhill Publishing
"The glee with which Fox approaches her material is infectious. All Victorian life is here." (The Guardian)
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I wanted to love this as I'd enjoyed Essie Fox's last effort enormously. But blimey is it dull. How it can be described as similar to a Wilkie Collins story is beyond me. Possibly because there is NO story. It just drifts aimlessly from one plot point to another. And why it's called "Elijah's Mermaid" I have no idea. Elijah is the least developed character in the book. Do yourself a favour and listen to a John Harwood book instead. Much more mysterious, thrilling and gothic.
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