About the Book:
Inspired 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.
LeAnn 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 www.nealreilly.com.
In volume 1,we meet John (though he’s certainly no Prince Eric!) and Tamarind (she’s really as close to Ariel as one can get!), the characters of Reilly’s adult version of The Little Mermaid. This version is a bit more pronounced and lively than the story we know from Disney. Oh, don’t get me wrong. There’s a mystical side to the story through Tamarind, who’s del mar (of the sea) and Ana(much like Ursula, the sea witch, in the movie), the “witch”, but it’s different than the classic fairy tale version. In volume 1, Reilly tells of how Tamarind and John must fall in love and bind themselves together in bed to seal Tamarind’s transformation into a permanent human and be with John forever. Tamarind and her “Goddess” pendant that she made with a magical moonstone given to her by her dear friend Valerie, depend on John’s love to have a happily ever after life. Simply put: The Little Mermaid, adult style.
In volume 2, Reilly tells of John and Tamarind’s marriage. What life is like being married. It’s wonderful for John and Tamarind…that is until the Goddess pendant is missing. The Wilkerson’s get a lesson in what REALLY makes a marriage last and makes it a happily ever after one. The question in volume 2 is this: can they survive on their matured, true love alone? Or will they still depend on the mystical magic of the Goddess???? I am going to stop there for fear of spoiling the story for those who haven’t read it :o).
I did enjoy this really HUGE book. It was, quite honestly, a little bit slow for me in the beginning, but once I pushed myself through the first few chapters, I was hooked. Yep. I was back in my childhood wishing for a fairy tale ending :o). As big as this book is, I started it on a Tuesday, and was finished with it on a Thursday. It just hooks ya that much. I didn’t want to put it down. I have to see what was happening and just when I thought things would slow down again, Reilly would add another interesting twist and bam! Right back into the story again.
All in all, I recommend this story. It does have some language, but not overpoweringly so. I recommend this book with 4 stars. It will capture you and sweep you away to a fairytale mixed with the meaning of true love. Well done on your first novel, LeAnn! I can’t wait for more books like this one (though I hope they aren’t quite so big :oD!).