on 29 October 2013
With the brutally honest and evocative descriptions of the bullying school children and drunk parents that Nella and Robert put up with, I found myself shying physically away a number of times. It's a brilliant story that had me hooked but be warned how dark and horrifying some parts are - to the point where I almost felt it was gratuitous. The description of the Merman is stunning in the detail and I could really see him in my mind's eye; I almost wanted more interaction with him (he doesn't come in till halfway through the book and even then Nella has to stay away from him), but maybe that is a clever way of keeping him so mysterious and mythical? It's not all doom and gloom though, Nella's strong narrative helps guide you through the worst parts and the ending gives a small ray of hope.