Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux on September 4th, 2012
Shelve It: Goodreads
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.
Dark and seductive, Monstrous Beauty started out as the perfect mermaid tale – full of immortal beings with razor sharp teeth, claw-like nails and breathtaking beauty. But as the mermaid lore became less important, and the plot centered on Hester and her inexplicable connection to Ezra, I almost lost interest. However beautiful prose and an expertly woven suspenseful tale were able to redeem Monstrous Beauty’s few shortcomings. [Read more…]