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Publisher's Summary

Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans in the UK. 

The days of my childhood kept turning over, dissolving like sea foam on the crest of the waves. I have been counting them, the days and the nights, the weeks, the months, the years. I have been waiting for this day. 

Deep beneath the cold, stormy sea, Gaia is a mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. Gaia longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice?   

Hans Christian Andersen’s world-famous fairy tale is re-imagined through a searing feminist lens by one of our most talented writers. This is a book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries – storytelling at its most spellbinding. 

©2019 Louise O’Neill (P)2019 Scholastic Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A masterpiece." (Marian Keyes)

"A fierce torrent of a book, raging and forceful and gripping. I was swept away." (Kiran Millwood Hargrave)

"Her prose cuts and rages and her vision of the Sea Witch is truly transformative." (The Observer)

What listeners say about The Surface Breaks

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  • LBS
  • 03-11-20

little bit of a let down

Sadly this didn’t hit the mark for me. I was expecting a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid, but it really didn’t have a big feminist message. It felt oppressive at times. Narrator was brilliant and she kept my listening long after i’d stop caring about the story.

1 person found this helpful