Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Publisher: Macmillan Young Listeners
Publication date: September 4th 2012
My rating: 4 stars
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
Monstrous Beauty was disturbing, tragic and yet beautiful and hopeful.
Hester comes from a tragic line of women. Each mother in her family who’s given birth has dies within days of delivery. Hester’s mother, her grandmother, her great-grandmother, and so on. Hester believes this is some sort of genetic anomaly and the only way to avoid death is to avoid love, marriage and pregnancy. Little does she know that this affliction is anything but genetic but stems from something far more sinister. The past and present collide with alternating chapters as the mystery is slowly revealed. Let me tell you, it’s a brutal and violent history, and one that’s filled with a desperate all-consuming love. Did I mention the scary amoral sea creatures? I seriously could have nightmares. This is one eerily creepy story!! There was a romance that I was rooting for, and I wished it was developed a little further, but I still enjoyed this story even so.
I won this audio CD off a blog I frequent and I’m so glad I did because it’s not a book I would’ve picked up on my own. The writing was masterful and the prose was beautiful. The narrator was brilliant! I felt my heart pound in scenes with nervousness, longing, horror, disappointment, and envy as she brought each character to life. She brought the story alive with her versatile and passionate delivery. Each accent and voice were flawless, IMO. Just the right emotion was conveyed for each scene. I highly recommend it!
I enjoyed listening to this story so much, I decided to share the love and give away my audio CD copy to one lucky follower. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL. The only requirement is that you follow the blog. Just fill out the rafflecopter below. Thanks for stopping by and good luck!
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