The Mermaid in the Millpond
Bess has left the city of London for the workhouse following the death of her mother. Orphaned and alone, Bess is forced to leave all she knows behind for a life as an indentured worker with other children in a cotton mill. Her life at the workhouse is cruel and demanding with very little joy, the hours and work are physically demanding, and the adults in charge are awful. Rumors start to spread about a vicious creature that lurks in the millpond. Bess is sure it is all tall tales, until she sees a strange silhouette in the water.
Is it really a monster at the bottom of the pond? Or someone desperate to break free just like Bess?
The Mermaid at Millpond is a book where folklore and history come together to weave a tale of friendship, freedom, and overcoming grief. The monotone illustrations show just how bleak life in the workhouse is for Bess. The illustrator tells a detailed story with her pictures of what the workhouse would have looked like and accurately dressing the characters in the book from the era in which Bess lives.
This book is best suited for readers with an interest in history and those with a big sense of adventure as this dark but hopeful story has a resonant emotion core. The author takes a lot of care to ensure accuracy of the historical setting of being a child in a Victorian age workhouse without being too graphic for younger readers.