By Elizabeth Fama
Publication date: Sept. 4, 2012
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 304 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.
Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
— Goodreads.com description
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama is just the mermaid story I’ve been waiting for. Intricate and well-planned, Fama’s plotlines weave in and out of past and present beautifully, telling a story that is much more dark and dangerous than I expected.
The twisty plot is the stunner of this book – I may have predicted almost every turn from the get-go, but following along as Fama slowly unravels the story is so very enjoyable.
Loved Hester, who was a delightfully determined main character. Didn’t care much for the love story plots – whoa creepy Ezra – but the ghost story aspect was a nice touch. Creepy!
So, I was pleasantly surprised with Monstrous Beauty, definitely engrossed…but maybe not in love, as I did connect a few of the dots early on.