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This may not be the right place to voice your criticisms of BOTM. If the service didn't work for you, that's unfortunate but not likely to convince anyone on the site's message board. Regarding selection, if you scroll through past books you'll find many many of the top books of the year offered before general release and at a savings over full hardcover price. It was the incredible selection and diversity that convinced me to try BOTM. Also, the company and their concept have been around since the 1920's as a monthly book subscription service, first by mail and now online. I think that's
I went with Severance as it’s not something I would normally pick up but I just read Station Eleven and adored that book so this sounds very similar with excellent reviews. Really regretting I didn’t add The Far Field as an add-on so that may go in the cart for next month though!
I feel exactly the same way! I don’t want to say I’m not going to finish but I think I might have to put it down and come back because I’m just not invested anymore. This should be right in my wheelhouse- mysterious evocative house, little dash of historical London, woman trying to find her place- but there’s too many threads and now I’m bored. I want to check back in with Elodie and her journey and not so many past lives of the house.
I seem to be in the minority, but the more I think about this book the more I like the ending. Spoilers from here It was not what I was expecting at all and ended rather abruptly after they set the second mermaid free, but I keep thinking about what that mermaid really represented. I like the idea that the mermaid was not flesh and blood but rather a magical element that fed off of the emotions of the people that came close. For example, Suki was particularly susceptible because she was at an age when emotions are so complex and so easily influenced by others. Angelica, on the other hand, is coming into her own as a wife with a husband who respects her for herself, and not as a courtesan. She is able to withstand the mermaid’s power over her and even see through it as an illusion to be cast away once she knows her own worth. I really appreciate the layers you can find to how both mermaids are presented in comparison to the various women in the story, and how each is trapped (or not) in her own way.
I think you had to really let go of expectation of a flesh and blood mermaid, and embrace the magical realism of a caught and trapped amorphous “thing” and the inevitable despair any creature would feel in the situation. It’s ambiguous because, to me, you could read it as the mermaids are metaphors for the lives of the women in the 18th c. When Angelica truly embraced her true self within her role as a gentleman’s wife she could figure out how to let the mermaid go.