Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean – but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
This is a wonderful story that is really two stories in one. One about mermaids and the other about ghosts and combines them flawlessly. The story is also told in flashbacks so we learn the back story of some of the ghosts and the main mermaid. It also tells of a curse and of folklore of sea creatures. The mermaid depicted in Monstrous Beauty are not the “little mermaid” type but instead dark, driven, fierce and deadly.
Saying all that, it was a beautiful story of love and loss and I recommend it to those who enjoy books about mermaids and those who never thought of reading a book about mermaids.