DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA: HANNAH by Kathryn Lasky (Scholastic 2009)

October 28, 2009 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

hannahThere are at least three different plot lines in this fantasy; a chaste love story, a girl who can turn herself into a mermaid, and the social mores of the upper class and the servant class below stairs. Hannah is a teenage orphan who must find employment. She is outspoken and opinionated which is not welcome in a servant. However, she manages to secure a job as a scullery maid in the posh residence of the Hawleys in Boston. She is also deeply drawn to the sea. The Hawleys have a summer house in Mount Desert Island in Maine. There she discovers that when she submerges in the ocean she turns into a mermaid. It is lucky for her to have this means of escape because both Hannah and Lila Hawley fall in love with the same artist. Lasky spends great chunks of time analyzing the cramped lives of the servant class and the spoiled lives of the Brahmins. Unconvincingly, young Hannah has 21st century ideas of equality while living in the 19th century. Neither the love story nor the class descriptions make this a compelling book.

J Fantasy, Not Recommended- Lillian Hecker-PELHAM


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