Mermaid Spotting in TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Even when I try to take a mini-break from mermaids, I find that I'm still reading books with mermaids in them!

I stopped to read TIGER LILY, and while mermaids have always been a part of Neverland, I wasn't really thinking about it one way or the other or anticipating the roles mermaids might play in Jodi Lynn Anderson's new novel.

This following is, by far, my favorite passage featuring mermaids:

MERMAID BEACHED HERSELF ON A ROCK IN THE middle of the lagoon to watch the festivities.  She was bare and sludge-covered from the torso up, and her slippery lower body lay twitching on the muddy, stony surface.  She was all curves and mud, sharp teeth and soft lips.  Barnacles had grown on her shoulders, her elbows, and at the curve of her neck, but she was still a magnificent animal.  Peter walked to the water and waved to her, just gently.

"Why is she watching us so intently?" Tiger Lily asked Tootles.

"Oh, that's Maeryn.  She wants Peter to go swim with her.  He does from time to time."

©Disney's PETER PAN movie; Mermaids will drown
humans, especially those who steal Peter's love from them!
"But they'd murder him." Mermaids were among the most treacherous predators in all of Neverland.  They were known to lurk in bodies of water no bigger than puddles, waiting to drown hapless swimmers, though faeries have nothing to fear from them because we are too small and bitter for them to eat.

"No." Tootles shook his head.  "The mermaids are in love with Peter.  That one most of  all."

"And Peter loves them," Slightly added cynically.  "In his way."

Tiger Lily looked out at the mermaid.  She thought of Peter underwater, with the darkness, the mud, the fish, and the hidden places.  The things he would see that she likely never would.

"He can't even swim," Nibs said.  "The mermaids have to do the paddling for him."

"Mermaids can't help being killers," Slightly said.  "He shouldn't go in there."

"They can help it if it's Peter," Tootles said.  "Everything goes his way."
(Page 75, nook e-book edition)

©2003 PETER PAN movie; One of the creepier, earthier
re-envisionings of a mermaid.  This movie is my personal
favorite Pan retelling because the visuals are so fab!
I love her description of the mermaid and can see what Maeryn must look like so keenly in my  head after reading that paragraph!  Mermaids aren't often described as being so earthly in literature or portrayed as such on the screen, but this image makes so much sense.

Why wouldn't a mermaid be covered in barnacles and mud?

©Disney's PETER PAN movie; Mermaids adore Peter, much
as they do in Anderson's TIGER LILY and listen raptly.
This passage also details the intimate way Anderson has of revealing information and creating fully fleshed out, realistic characters.  Through this image of mermaids, readers discover that the legendary Peter Pan can't swim.  To me, that was a huge moment, despite how short the revelation is.  It also showcases Peter's easy way of drawing everyone around him in until they love him, even vicious, man-killing mermaids.


  1. Thanks for the awesome excerpt! I've been wanting to read Tiger Lily. I'm so glad its finally out!

    1. I love that excerpt. I love the way Jodi Lynn Anderson describes so much, and I love how "natural" her mermaids are.

  2. I'm loving your Splash into summer series... Can't believe Peter can't swim!

    1. I know, right? When I read that part, I knew I had to share it. Talk about an intimate detail!

  3. This was a great post! Woot Woot! Peter Pan! (:

  4. Some other review that I read said that there were no mermaids in TIGER LILY. So glad you mentioned this! I am hoping to read TIGER LILY sometime this summer. Unfortunately probably not during Splash. :-(

    Literally Jen

    1. I don't know how they could say there were none. They must not have really read this or something...


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