If you like mermaid tales (resisting all puns here), I've got a gentle book for you, The Mermaid Quilt and Other Tales by Beth Camp. Her slim collection of mermaid inspired tales and poems spans from the impoverished and steamy coast of Mexico to the cold to the unforgiving seas of the Arctic to the lyrical Scottish seaside. Even freshwater mermaids get the treatment during one of the more haunting tales, Rusalka, that embraces a hope for the future during an episode of a brutal purge of the Jews in Russia.
It's a nice, tidy, well-written book. For mermaid lovers, it's a must for your shelves. For those of us who prefer terra firma, with only the sound of the sea not the singing of mermaids to lull us to sleep, it is a top-shelf 4.
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Being accused of murder is bad enough, but having to rely on your estranged and abusive father for help is worse. However, that is Ben Hawkins' predicament in Linda Johnsons' chapbook, REDEMPTION: A Short Story. The twist is: Does dad's drastic solution to Ben's situation really become the stuff of redemption or start another cycle of bad decisions?
The well-written story is enjoyable if a bit short on digging into the complex process of redeeming oneself from past transgressions. The short story is a solid 4.