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Publisher's Summary

A dark and beautiful reimagining of The Little Mermaid.

Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She 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 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. 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.

What listeners say about The Surface Breaks

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ONE OF THE BEST RETELLINGS OF THE LITTLE MERMAID

Very much like Drown by Esther Dalseno it is a great young adult read, far from the unfortunate trend of saccharine teenage romance novels. Beautifully written, brutally honest and very relevant to issues still faced by many women and minorities today, mainly not having a voice to defend yourself against prejudice, bigotry and violence. I HIGHLY recommend it to fans of the original fairytale who wish to read an honest ADULT version of the story without romantic fluff.

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Not a children’s book, but a well written reimagine

I love the original tragic Hans story of the little mermaid, so I really enjoyed this. Beautifully written with an empowering twist at the end. What I DIDN’T like, is the rape. This book referenced reoccurring sexual assault with a detailed scene at the end. I didn’t find it needed. There is also language and suggestive elements that didn’t bother me, but I kept thinking, this cannot be a child’s book. The description was misleading about the recommended audience age.

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  • H.C
  • 04-07-20

I didn’t want it to end!

I loved it! My imagination ran wild, I definitely loved this version of the Little Mermaid and would love to listen to a sequel. Sewing up the worlds of the Russalka and Mermaid together nicely, touching on relevant subjects on being a women, and will be listening to it again and again. Strong women, inspiring to all!

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  • ultraviolet
  • 03-18-20

Loved this retelling of the little mermaid

I absolutely adore this retelling, darker and it had me gripped from the first few minuets. I wouldn’t say it’s a feminist story, more a story of a someone so oppressed and unhappy she grasps for anyway to change her situation. Love this so much I listened too it twice with in a week. If your a fan of the original little mermaid I think you would really enjoy this story. Great narration this is one of the reasons I could stop listening to the story. Over all so glad I bought this audio book and added it to my collection.

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  • Paige Hughes
  • 09-09-19

disappointed

it was boring the story was going no where. struggled listening to it. very disappointed