Rating: 3 / 5
The Mermaid Mahjong Circle follows two artist friends, Evie and Hannah, through a fairy tale adventure that starts after finding a special mahjong tile. The tile leads them to meet all sorts of local artist women that seem to be connected, both in the past as well as the present. Knowing more than that about the story would take away some of the magic.
The characters were woven together very creatively and the author, Claudia Grossman, must have a wonderful imagination to tie in so many different elements. I thought the book was indeed whimsical and charming, a really sweet story about art and strong female relationships. I appreciated how Evie and Hannah were always supportive of each other. This was definitely a positive, but I also couldn’t ignore that everything just tied up way too nicely. There really wasn’t any main conflict in the story or growth. In a fairy tale, I’d expect to walk away with some learning and maybe the book would have been better served if there was just ‘more’. Maybe the characters should have struggled a little more – whenever they encountered a problem or riddle to be solved, the answer just came to them with no effort at all. I’d definitely position The Mermaid Mahjong Circle as more of a short story versus a full length novel. It’s a very light and easy read, so could be enjoyable if you’re looking for a pretty, feel-good story.
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