THE MERMAID’S CHILD by Jo Baker is a fairytale for grownups. It tells the story of a young girl, an outcast named Malin Reed. She grows up hearing tales that her absent mother is a mermaid. After her father dies, she’s left alone with her grandmother who gives her away. Thus begins her life of labor and abuse.

She begins a grueling fantastical journey in search of her mother. Malin’s travels take her across oceans, continents, high seas and deserts. She’s sold into slavery, a circus, almost beaten to death coming across sporadic people who care briefly for her.

Malin is a strong-willed, determined young girl, who persists against insurmountable odds, believing she will one day find her mother.

“I swam away, straight out to the sea. They would come for me, I was sure of it. My mother’s people would come for me.”

Jo Baker is known for writing this kind of fantasy. This was my first exposure and the repeated violence was too much for me. There is an audience for this novel, but it’s not my cup of tea. Jo Baker has written several other novels. I may take a look at one of them.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for providing a kindle copy of THE MERMAID’S CHILD for an honest review. Check out for all things JO BAKER.

Go to to check out all my reviews and to read about my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised.”

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