Published: June 17th 2008 (first published June 1st 2003)
Another great story in the 'Once upon a time' series. This time, we have a very original retelling from The Little Mermaid, a story I love dearly.
A fisherman finds a little girl - around the age of four - during a storm. His wife can't get pregnant, so they decide to keep the girl and they call her Pearl. That's because this little girl has a pearl tightly clenched into her hands. It feels like a gift from heaven. That's not how the village feels about Pearl. When she grows up, she is an outsider. Her legs are too long for her body and she is pretty clumsy. The only friend she has is James, the prince. There meetings are a secret, until someone asks for Pearl's hand. James is confused about his feeling and he reveals himself to her parents. He takes her to row on the sea and he wants to ask her something.
That's when we swift to another pair of eyes. We get to meet Kale, a mermaid, and his sister Faye. Kale is still searching for his lost Arianne, when he finally sees her: it's Pearl! There is a hole in the boat and his sister recues James. She is instantly in love with him.
"How does the whale know when to swim to warmer waters for winter? How do the fish know when a predator is near? How do you know when love is real? You just know."
That's when the trouble really starts. Faye visited the Sea Witch and she is transformed into a human. Kale does the same thing, but it comes with a price. Faye lost her voice, Kale his sight and they must marry the person they love within seven days or they die. The race against the clock beginns, will they make it?
It was a wonderful story, filled with romance and some suspence. Yes, there is instant love and yes, it's crazy that Faye does something like that. But isn't it great sometimes to dive into a romance, knowing that it will work out? And honestly, it never bothered me in this story. There is something about fairytales and the magic surrounding it, that makes everything feel right. I loved Pearl. She has her flaws. It's great that she acts so nice towards the people who are so unkind. Kale is just perfect as the mermaid prince who never stopped searching for his true love.
I'm going to read Debbie Viguié's other book, because I liked her writing style.