What could have been a poignant retelling of "The Little Mermaid" turned into a sappy mess with a lot of unfinished ideas. The beginning was gripping and fantastically told, the middle desperately grasped at sensuality and tragedy, while the ending deflated and fell flat. I was left feeling disappointed and cheated by this story. Even if you're not familiar with the original [a:Hans Christian Andersen|6378|Hans Christian Andersen|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1183230200p2/6378.jpg] tale, you've probably seen Disney's "The Little Mermaid." I thought at first that this would be like an adult version of Disney's story, and for the most part, it was. The names are different, and there's no singing crab, but the structure of the story remains the same: the youngest mermaid princess falls in love with a human man, and chooses to sacrifice her voice and tail and forsake her family and friends for the chance to be with him.Turgeon decided to make this about a love triangle, and a supposedly tragic one at that. Margrethe, Lenia the mermaid's foil, is the daughter of the Northern king. She is being hidden at a convent because there are rumors that the South is getting ready to attack. So of course, the man who the mermaid saves just happens to be the Southern prince, and both women fall in love with him.There was a lot of talk about God, faith, fate, and destiny, but it's not really something the author explored to an extent that was meaningful. The mermaid's whole position was borne of blind faith, and it's something that just didn't sit well with me. The talk of God and everything seemed so shallow and not something I could relate to. Margrethe constantly talked about how she wished to achieve rapture, and to have the feeling of love she saw in the nuns and on the mermaid's face, but it just felt so artificial. Margrethe even fell in love with the man the mermaid saved upon first glance, when they had little in common other than being beautiful. I understand this is a trapping of fairy tales in general, but it just felt so unbelievable in this instance. Turgeon was trying to recreate a more modern, and therefore, believable, version of this classic tale, and she failed in both aspects.The man was a philandering dolt who didn't deserve either woman. His personality was cardboard, and I felt more chemistry between the women than I did when he was with either of them.The mermaid was a fool, and she should have been treated as such. How can you leave everything you've ever known for the minute chance that a guy who you were around for all of a couple of hours will love and marry you? This was just stupid, and insulting to women in general.The ending robbed me of the tragedy I wanted, and I can't help feeling bitter at this.Turgeon's writing wasn't anything special, and at times I felt like she repeated herself to fill up the pages. I can't say I'll never read her again, but I don't think she does this sub-genre any justice.