Sailor Twain or The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel

Turn of the century riverboat captain Elijah Twain is a righteous dude: upstanding, responsible and totally devoted to his lovely wife Pearl, who waits patiently for him at home while he sails the Hudson saving up for the expensive medical treatments required to free her from her wheelchair. He looks down his nose a bit at the riverboat’s owner, a flashy playboy named Lafayette who seems to take ladies to bed as a hobby. But Captain Twain finds his high and mighty morals sorely tested when he makes a surprising discovery one dark night. A wounded mermaid has pulled herself up on the deck of his boat and passed out. Shocked and more than a little intrigued, Twain hides her in his room and gradually nurses her back to health. The mermaid’s very presence soothes him and seems to inspire his writing, which had lately taken a back seat to his riverboat work. Soon Twain feels torn between his trusting wife and the otherworldly beauty who has become his muse. Meanwhile, Lafayette has developed an intense interest in mermaids, even inviting an eccentric author of Hudson Valley folklore on board to discuss the topic with him. Guilt-ridden Twain becomes very worried—does Lafayette know his secret? When the mermaid disappears with Twain’s pocket watch, and Lafayette seduces his seventh simultaneous romantic conquest, the captain and his roguish friend are drawn into fantastical nautical mystery that is both whimsical and terrifying, and more than a little naughty. (Let’s just say that mermaids are traditionally topless and Lafayette gets caught with his pants down more than once) This marvelous blend of mythology, morality, love and obsession kept me up all night, as I couldn’t resist turning just one…more…page. And the charcoal artwork, which ranged from softly shaded to deep and vibrant was so stunning that I didn’t even miss the color. All my high school peeps who love historical fiction and fantasy are going to want to own this resplendent graphic novel in hardcover. Because as much as I want to recommend this gor-ge-o-so volume to friends and students, I’m having a hard time parting with my pretty copy.  (And if you’d like to take a look for yourself, you can start reading here)

One thought on “Sailor Twain or The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel

  1. Started first chapters… And now I am so into it, can hardly wait to finish!

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